Soon after returning to Los Angeles from Pelican Bay State Prison in April 2016, Michael Christopher Mejia was in trouble again.
An imposing physical presence at 6 feet, 3 inches, with face and neck tattoos that trumpeted his gang membership, Mejia was jailed and released repeatedly for violating his probation.
On Monday, just over a week after finishing his latest jail stint, Mejia fatally shot a 27-year veteran Whittier police officer and wounded another officer, according to authorities. Before engaging in the shootout with the officers, he is suspected of killing his cousin and stealing the cousin’s car.
Hours after the officer’s death, Whittier Police Chief Jeff...