Two El Monte Police Officers Who Resided In Upland Slain Responding To Disturbance

Reportedly, El Monte Police Corporal Michael Paredes and El Monte Police Officer Joseph Santana, who were killed in the line of duty on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, both resided in Upland.
Paredes and Santana were gunned down by 35-year-old Justin Flores after El Monte police were summoned at around 4:30 p.m. to the Siesta Inn, a motel on Garvey Avenue, in response to a report of a possible stabbing.
Flores’ widow, Diana Flores, with whom Justin Flores had a child, in a statement to reporters indicated that the 911 call relating to the stabbing emanated from a threat Justin Flores made, which she implied was to her. She had not actually been stabbed, however, and there was no indication from the El Monte Police in the aftermath of the incident that anyone was stabbed.
Paredes and Santana arrived at the motel at roughly the same time. They, along with a sergeant from the department were the first to reach the scene.
Diana Flores stated she had a hurried verbal exchange with Paredes and Santana and possibly the sergeant outside the motel room in which she told the officers that Flores was armed with a gun. The shooting occurred, she indicated, when the pair entered the room.
Justin Flores was killed in the aftermath of Paredes and Santana being shot, although the Los Angeles County Department of the Medical Examiner-Coroner is maintaining that it was not members of the El Monte Police Department who fired the shot that killed Justin Flores. Rather, according to the Los Angeles County Department of the Medical Examiner-Coroner, Justin Flores died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Paredes was shot first. Santana went down after Paredes.
After Flores emptied his gun at both Paredes and Santana, he retrieved the service firearm of one of the officers.
A photograph of the scene shows a gun near Justin Flores’ apparently lifeless body.
After Justin Flores exited the motel room, there was reportedly a volley of roughly 24 shots from other officers with the department who had arrived.
Flores made his way to the parking lot. After having been shot, according to the department, Flores turned the gun he had on himself.
Paredes, 42, and Santana, 31, were taken to L.A. County-USC Medical Center, where they died. Both had sustained gunshots to their heads. Flores died at the scene.
Justin Flores was a member of the Whittier-based “Quiet Village” gang. The word “Quiet” was tattooed on his right cheek.
Flores had an auto theft conviction when he was 22, which landed him in prison in 2009. He was convicted in 2011 of burglarizing his grandparents’ house, a crime for which he spent 10 months in prison. He was charged and ultimately convicted of felony firearm possession from an incident in 2020.
There had been efforts within the last two weeks to return Flores to prison for a parole violation. A follow-up on that came too late to prevent the deaths of Paredes and Santana.
Based upon information provided to the Sentinel’s associate publisher by a reliable source, both lived with their families in the City of Gracious Living. The Sentinel was unable to absolutely verify that report, but was given precise information as to the neighborhood where the two allegedly resided.
Both Paredes and Santana were, the Sentinel confirmed, graduates of El Monte High School, though they graduated more than a decade apart. Both had ultimately served on their hometown police force.
Paredes spent the entirety of his law enforcement career with the El Monte Police Department, having begun as a cadet with the department. He was sworn in as an officer in July 2000. He is survived by his wife, daughter and son.
Santana served for three years as a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy before transferring to the El Monte Police Department less than a year ago. Before joining law enforcement, he worked as a physical plant worker for the city of El Monte for six years. He is survived by his wife, daughter and twin boys.

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