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LAPD officer accused of murder fled to Texas with father's help, warrant says

Fired LAPD cop charged with murder in Pomona slaying fled to Texas, federal warrant says

A fugitive Los Angeles police officer fired and charged with murder fled to Texas with the help of his father, federal officials said in a warrant filed Thursday.

Henry Solis was able to evade authorities after the fatal March 13 shooting near a Pomona nightclub after his father drove him across state lines, FBI officials wrote in the warrant.

Before disappearing, Solis, who was fired this week, “made incriminating statements about his role in the murder of (Salome) Rodriguez” and said he would never be seen again, according to Special Agent Scott F. Garriola, in an affidavit.

On March 13, Victor Solis, Henry Solis' father, left his Lancaster home in a hurry after a series of phone calls, witnesses told FBI agents.

The next day, Victor Solis, his pickup truck and his dog were seen in El Paso, Texas, at the home of a relative. Victor admitted to FBI agents that he drove his son to El Paso and dropped him off at a bus station, but he did not know his son’s whereabouts.

Cmdr. Andrew Smith said LAPD officials hope Solis will “turn himself in as quickly as possible.”

Henry Solis, 27, was charged Tuesday with fatally shooting Salome Rodriguez Jr. last week in a parking lot near an area of Pomona packed with popular bars and nightclubs, court records show.

Solis is also charged with assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the off-duty shooting.

A district attorney's spokeswoman said the office would not comment on the charges.

A Los Angeles County coroner's report shows Rodriguez died of multiple gunshot wounds. An autopsy was completed Wednesday, coroner's officials said.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said the deadly incident was fueled by alcohol. Both the suspect and the victim had been at the Vive Tequila Lounge and Nightclub in downtown Pomona.

"Henry Solis failed to meet the minimum standards of the Los Angeles Police Department and has been terminated effectively immediately," Beck said.

Solis was a U.S. Marine before he joined the LAPD in June. The chief said there was "no obvious indication that he would have the propensity for this." Beck said Pomona police "have a strong case."

Solis failed to turn up for work Saturday at the Devonshire Division. He quickly became a person of interest and then a suspect in the Pomona killing.

"If Henry Solis is watching this, you have dishonored this Police Department, your country and your service to the country, and your family," Beck said Tuesday, looking into television news cameras. "And you should turn yourself in and face the consequences for your actions."

Because Solis was a probationary employee, the chief had the legal authority to fire Solis more quickly than if he had been a tenured employee.

The fact that Solis has not shown up for work and isn't cooperating with Pomona detectives "is sufficient to terminate him," Beck said.

A Volkswagen Jetta that Solis was driving the night of the killing was found a few blocks from the shooting scene. The hunt for Solis now involves federal authorities.

For Southern California crime news, follow @LAcrimes and @katemather.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

3:01 p.m.: This story has been updated with details from FBI warrant.

This story was first published at 1:50 p.m.

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