A man was sentenced 40 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to the attempted murder of a California Highway Patrol officer in West Covina two years ago, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said.
John Alfred Garcia, a 32-year-old man from Fontana, confessed to trying to kill the officer during a traffic stop, leaving him seriously injured, prosecutors said.
The incident began at about 1:40 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2015, when Garcia was driving a Cadillac Escalade in West Covina and was pulled over by a CHP officer for an impaired driving investigation, officials said at the time.
The officer, Felix Serpas, went to approach Garcia’s vehicle and was barely able to speak before shots were fired, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.
“He greeted the driver of the vehicle and was able to get the words, ‘Good evening,’ out when, immediately, an attempt to murder our officer occurred,” CHP Assistant Chief Marc Shaw told the Tribune.
“Our officer tactically retreated,” he said. “The suspect exited with a semi-automatic 12-gauge shotgun and continued his deliberate, aggressive and premeditated attack in his attempt to murder our officers.”
Serpas was left with serious injuries after the shoot-out, prosecutors said.
A high-speed chase followed the shooting, lasting for about an hour before it finally ended when Garcia’s vehicle ran out of gas in a field in Fontana, authorities said.
But Garcia still wouldn’t cooperate with officers once the chase ended, CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said at the time.
“We tried to ask him to step out (of the SUV) and at some point he became resistant,” Jimenez said.
West Covina police then deployed a K-9 unit and video of the scene shows Garcia struggling with the dog before he’s taken into custody, as KTLA previously reported.
Garcia was also injured during the shooting and was transported to medical care after the chase, prosecutors said.
Multiple weapons were found in the Escalade, CHP officials later said.
Along with pleading guilty to one count of attempted murder of a peace officer, Garcia also admitted to discharging a semiautomatic shotgun causing great bodily injury.