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Evacuated Residents Return Home as Vigil Is Held for Slain, Wounded Pomona Police Officers

Some residents of who live in the area where a Pomona police officer was fatally shot were allowed to return home for the first time following the incident on Sunday evening, officials said.

Mourners attend a vigil held in honor of Pomona Police Officer Gregg Casillas, who was killed, and a wounded officer who is recovering in the hospital. (Credit: KTLA)

Mourners attend a vigil held in honor of Pomona Police Officer Gregg Casillas, who was killed, and a wounded officer who is recovering in the hospital. (Credit: KTLA)

Those who live in the apartment complex on the 1400 block of Palomares Street were asked to evacuate Friday night when a man barricaded himself in an apartment after fleeing police, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

But they were finally allowed back into their homes at 6 p.m. Sunday, just after a door riddled with bullet holes was carried from the scene.

Residents had been ordered to leave due to the active nature of the investigation. Some who live in the building said that, while they were happy to cooperate with detectives, they were frustrated promises of shelter from Pomona police and the Red Cross never came through.

The suspect in the incident, Isaias De Jesus Valencia, 38, is expected to be charged with shooting through a door and injured two Pomona police officers, leaving one of them — 30-year-old Greggory Casillas — dead. Sheriff's officials had previously given Valencia's age as 39.

The injured officer was identified as Alex Nguyen during a vigil held Sunday evening. He is in stable condition, authorities said.

A door riddled with bullet holes is removed from the scene where one police officer was fatally shot and another wounded in Pomona, March 11, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

A door riddled with bullet holes is removed from the scene where one police officer was fatally shot and another wounded in Pomona, March 11, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

Valencia was arrested following a 15-hour standoff with authorities Saturday afternoon. He is expected to be charged with murder and attempted murder charges and scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

The vigil held in honor of Casillas and Nguyen on Sunday night had to be moved from the Pomona police headquarters to an adjacent street corner due to its size. Officers from neighboring agencies were called in to patrol the area so that Pomona police officers could mourn.

Peter Mellini, a relative of Casillas' who attended, described the fallen officer as full of warmth and courage.

“He was always the one who would come up to you and greet you with a hug," Mellini said. "That’s the way he was, just a very loving, caring person. And so it’s a wonder to us that he was out there serving and protecting.”

Correction: A previous version of this article included a misspelling on Officer Nguyen's name.

KTLA's Steve Bien contributed to this story.