Hundreds of mourners gathered Thursday to honor the life of a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputy who was fatally shot in an apparently random attack at a restaurant in Alhambra earlier this week.
Joe Solano, 50, died Wednesday after remaining hospitalized in grave condition since Monday night's shooting at a Jack in the Box location in the 2500 block West Valley Boulevard. He was a 13-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department.
Rhett Mckenzie Nelson, 30, of Utah is accused of shooting another man to death in Los Angeles about an hour before shooting Solano in the back of the head as the off-duty deputy stood in line at the fast-food restaurant, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials said. Investigators also suspect Nelson in a string of Southern California robberies.
Solano was not in uniform when he was shot, and investigators said the attack may have been random.
Nelson faces charges including murder, attempted murder and robbery, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. He could potentially face the death penalty if convicted as charged. Prosecutors of not yet decided whether they will seek capital punishment in the case.
Mary Beth McDade reports for the KTLA 5 News on June 13, 2019.