2 arrested, 1 charged with murder of off-duty rookie police officer in robbery attempt in Downey
A man and a 17-year-old have been booked on suspicion of murder in Monday’s fatal shooting of an off-duty Monterey Park police officer in Downey during an apparent robbery gone wrong, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón said Wednesday.
Carlos Delcid, 20, and an unnamed juvenile were arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of Officer Gardiel Solorio, 26, Gascón said at a news conference.
Delcid was arrested Tuesday evening by Downey police and booked into jail Wednesday afternoon. He is expected to be arraigned on charges of murder with a special circumstance allegation that the murder was committed during a robbery, attempted robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Court records show he was on formal probation for burglary and domestic violence
Gardiel Solorio, 26, is survived by parents, siblings and a fiancee.
The killing of the rookie police officer appeared to be an attempted robbery during which the suspect got out of his car and confronted Solorio in a Downey parking lot, Gascón said.
“Officer Solorio attempted to flee by backing up his vehicle and the suspect fired multiple times,” Gascón said. “The gunman then jumped back into a getaway car driven by a juvenile and fled the scene.”
The suspect allegedly shot Solorio five times at close range, the district attorney’s office said in a news release.
Given the specifics of the crime, prosecutors decided it warranted a special circumstances murder charge for Delcid.
“We will be seeking life without the possibility of parole,” Gascón said.
Under California law, prosecutors may seek the death penalty in murder cases with special circumstances. Gascón opposes the death penalty but has rarely sought life without parole in murder cases.
When he took office in 2020, Gascón banned prosecutors from seeking the death penalty or life sentences without the possibility of parole and limited the use of sentencing enhancements. He backed away from some of those limitations earlier this year.
Gascón said the juvenile will also be charged in the juvenile justice system, but he did not specify with what crime.
The suspects were taken into custody Tuesday and booked Wednesday morning after their vehicle and identities were tracked by Downey Police Department investigators, according to sources who spoke anonymously because the investigation is ongoing.
Delcid had previously been arrested Dec. 8 by L.A. County deputies from the Lomita station, booking records show. He was cited and released the next day; records do not show the alleged offense, but it appeared to be felony level.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Harbor Division arrested Delcid on Feb. 10, and he was charged five days later with burglary, domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment and intimidating a witness. The crimes reportedly occurred on Feb. 9, records show.
On March 10, he pleaded no contest to burglary and domestic violence while the other charges were dismissed. A judge in Long Beach sentenced him to 180 days in jail and four years of formal probation, court records show.
He was released the morning after that sentence was handed down, having spent a month behind bars, according to Sheriff’s Department booking records.
Solorio was off duty at the time of the shooting near an LA Fitness gym in a busy Downey parking lot Monday afternoon.
He joined the Monterey Park Police Department in July and was remembered by his colleagues and friends as “tough as nails,” Monterey Park Police Chief Kelly Gordon said.
Solorio is survived by his parents, siblings and a fiancee.
He had worked single-mindedly toward becoming a police officer, said a friend who worked security with Solorio.
“We knew he was destined for bigger things,” Gabriel Ortega said, adding, “You couldn’t not love the guy.”
According to a GoFundMe page organized by Solorio’s sister-in-law, Wanda Marie Lane Solorio, Gardiel Solorio was the youngest of 13 children and a first-generation college graduate who had just achieved his lifelong dream of becoming a police officer.
“He was and has always been [a] true American success story,” Wanda Marie Lane Solorio wrote.
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