A 20-year-old man and a teen are facing charges in connection with the attempted robbery and fatal shooting of an off-duty Monterey Park police officer in Downey earlier this week, authorities announced.
Carlos Daniel Delcid faces a special circumstance murder charge and one charge each of attempted robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon. A 17-year-old also faces charges in juvenile court in connection with the slaying.
Delcid is being held on $2 million bail, arrest records show. He faces life without the possibility of parole thanks to the special circumstance allegation that the killing was committed during a robbery, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said during a news conference this week.
On Monday afternoon, Delcid got out of a nearby vehicle as off-duty officer Gardiel Solorio had just gotten to the parking lot of an L.A. Fitness in Downey.
Delcid allegedly demanded Solorio’s personal items, but as Solorio put his car in reverse, Delcid allegedly shot the victim five times at close range, officials said.
The defendant then returned to his vehicle being driven by the unidentified teen, and the two drove away. Solorio, 26, died at the scene.
Delcid was arrested by Downey police on Tuesday, records show.
Authorities provided no further details about what led them to Delcid and the teen.
Delcid had been arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department on Feb. 10 and later charged with burglary, domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment and intimidating a witness, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In March, he pleaded no contest to two of the charges and he was sentenced to 180 days in jail, the Times reported, citing court records.
However, he was released the morning following his sentencing after only having spent a month in jail, according to the newspaper.
In a press release, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said “It was the District Attorney’s decision to drop the serious, violent felony charges that would have rendered the suspect ineligible for early release.”
Solorio was hired as a police recruit earlier this year and had just started field training in late July. He was described as being hardworking, dedicated and family-oriented. The Bell Gardens native is survived by his parents, brothers, sisters and fiancé.
“Gardiel was just starting his career in law enforcement and was a rising star who took pride in serving one of our communities when he was tragically murdered,” Gascón said. “Senseless gun violence has once again taken someone who pledged to protect others.”
Gascón offered his condolences to Solorio’s family and to the Monterey Park Police Department.
“I know these are very difficult times. Having been a police officer for years and having done many of these funerals and working through these cases, I know how hard this is,” he said.
Solorio’s sister and fiancé were at the news conference but did not speak.