Hundreds gather for vigil remembering two California police officers killed in shootout

Even down to the last moments of their lives, Mike and Joseph proved they were men of character,” Ben Lowry, acting El Monte police chief, said at the vigil Saturday. “They were the best of us. They were the greatest of us. I’m a better man having known each of them.

El Monte Cpl. Michael Paredes, 42, and Officer Joseph Santana, 31, were shot and killed last Tuesday evening after responding to a report of a stabbing at a motel. Paredes and Santana reportedly approached suspect Justin William Flores, 35, which led to a shootout.

The two officers were pronounced dead at a local Los Angeles area hospital, while Flores died by suicide after turning the gun on himself, according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office.