An arrest warrant was issued Monday for an LAPD officer accused of fatally shooting a 23-year-old man in Pomona three days earlier, apparently after a fight.
Los Angeles Police Department Officer Henry Solis, 27, was wanted on suspicion of murder in the death of Salome Rodriguez Jr., who was shot about 3:30 a.m. Friday following a physical altercation near West Third and South Main streets (map), according to the Pomona Police Department.
"Suspect Solis is a police officer and should be considered armed and dangerous," an advisory from Pomona police stated. "The suspect knows he is wanted, and that police are actively searching for him."
Solis may be driving a brown or tan 1992 Ford pickup truck with California license plate No. 4J79703.
Anyone with information on Solis' whereabouts was told to contact police immediately, and the public was warned that helping a fugitive could result in felony charges.
The victim’s family said he was on his way home when he was shot five times. Rodriguez ran about a block to a parking lot where a friend was located, and then collapsed. He was transported to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he died, police said.
Solis was off duty at the time of the incident and has not reported to work since, Pomona police said, calling him a "probationary" officer. Solis was described as 5 feet 9 inches tall, 185 pounds.
His last known address is in Pomona, police said.
Investigators initially did not say who was suspected of shooting Rodriguez, or how Solis was involved in his death. Police on Saturday described Solis a "person of interest."
Solis' car was found Sunday about three blocks away from where Rodriguez was fatally shot.
The FBI Fugitive Task Force was assisting Pomona police with the search for Solis, police Lt. Ronald McDonald said Monday. The case, he said, was being treated no differently than any other.
"It’s the same. A murder is a murder," McDonald said. "He will be caught."
Before the murder warrant was announced midday Monday, an LAPD spokesman said the department had no comment on the case.
During a vigil Sunday, Rodriguez's mother said she “went crazy” after learning of her son’s death.
“I can’t even cry today, because you know what? I know he’s with God,” she said.
Loved ones came together at the vigil, adding to a growing memorial, sharing stories, and playing Rodriguez’s favorite music.
One woman said she Rodriguez was her best friend, and described him as sweet.
“He was just the type of person … he would help no matter what. If you wanted help, he would always help you,” said Sandra Soto. “I have to be strong for him because that’s what he wants me to do.”
Rodriguez, who went by "Junior," was a trucker by trade, and a Catholic missionary who loved ones said put his family and faith first, a relative said. He was the oldest son of six siblings.
A sister said Rodriguez was sitting in a parked car when an altercation occurred. Witnesses told family members that Rodriguez had his hands in the air and could be heard yelling "it wasn't me" and "I didn't do it" before he was repeatedly shot.
Rodriguez’s mother said she hopes the officer is found soon.
“It hurts me that he’s out, and my son is not here,” she said.
She added that Solis' position as an officer makes it more difficult.
“You even hear bad things, but I always say, there’s good cops and bad cops,” she said.
Candles, flowers and balloons were still at the sight of the shooting on Monday morning.
A GoFundMe page set up to cover Rodriguez's funeral expenses had brought in more than $7,200 by early Monday afternoon.