Police: Suspect who killed officer also murdered cousin the same day

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

LOS ANGELES — The alleged gang member accused of murdering a Whittier officer and injuring his partner early Monday morning has been identified by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

The suspect, 26-year-old Michael Mejia, is not only facing charges in that case, but in the shooting death of his cousin, 47-year-old Roy Torres, as well.

According to KTLA, Torres was murdered around 5:30 a.m. Monday. Three hours later, Mejia allegedly opened fire on Officers Keith Boyer and Patrick Hazell as they were responding to a crash.

Authorities said Mejia was driving down the street when he rear-end a car. When the officers arrived on the scene, they asked the suspect to get out. That’s when Mejia pulled out a handgun and opened fire. All three men involved in the shootout were injured and rushed to nearby hospitals. Boyer later died from his injuries.

During an emotional interview with reporters, Torres’ family said the suspect had a history of being in trouble with the law.

“He’s hurt other people before, and he’s been in prison for that. And he should never have been let out. This is who they should keep in prison … he killed other people before. There was no need for this to happen.”

The second officer is expected to be okay.

No  charges have been filed in this case, as Mejia is still recovering at the hospital. However, he has been booked on other charges and is being held without bail.