The fiancee of a Manhattan Beach police officer who was shot to death while making a traffic stop this week made an emotional plea Thursday for information related to his death.
Pamela Ham, 29, described Martin Ganz as a “gentle, caring, almost shy man” who also was a deeply committed police officer.
“My hope is that whoever knows anything, no matter how slight and small it can be, will come forward,” she said at a news conference in front of the Manhattan Beach Police Department.
Ganz, a five-year veteran of the city police force, was shot three times Monday night by a motorist he had pulled over. The gunman began firing at Ganz as the officer approached the door of his car, investigators said. Ganz retreated behind his squad car, but the gunman followed on foot and fired three more shots. Ganz, 29, did not return fire and his service revolver was found on the ground near him.
Sheriff’s officials said they have no suspects, but were pursuing hundreds of clues, Sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Stoneman said.
The gunman was described as a dark-haired, Asian man in his late 20s or early 30s, driving a small gray or silver hatchback car. A $50,000 reward is being offered for the arrest and conviction of the gunman. Ganz did not radio in the license plate of the vehicle he stopped.
Sheriff’s officials were also searching for the drivers of three vehicles seen on a nearby First Interstate Bank branch camera, possibly within minutes of the shooting, Stoneman said. The camera took photos of a pickup truck with a toolbox in back and a stripe on its side; a small black car and a white, two-door hatchback.
The drivers could have witnessed the shooting or spotted the assailant’s car, he said.
Ham, wearing the jeans and plaid shirt that her fiance gave her for Christmas in anticipation of a camping trip, said Ganz “was the most detailed-minded person.”
At home, she said, his shirts would be neatly arranged on shelves exactly 1 1/2 inches apart. He would even refold her towels when he came to visit.
“Every time I left for work I would say, ‘Be careful,’ and he would say, ‘I’m always careful,’ ” she said. “I know he was not scared at any time. He reacted with his instinct and his training.”
Ham said that Ganz proposed to her two weeks ago at a police officers’ Christmas party, and even suggested flying to Las Vegas that night to get married. But he planned to make a formal engagement--by getting on his knees and offering a ring--on Valentine’s Day.
He had just bought his boyhood home in Garden Grove, and had been renovating the kitchen in anticipation of their marriage, she said.
“We had so many dreams, so many hopes,” she said. “Everything he did, he did with me in mind.”