Southern California sheriff Joseph Gilbert Solano, who was shot and seriously injured while eating at a fast food restaurant on Monday, has died, officials said.
Solano, a 13-year-old sheriff's deputy in Los Angeles County, died Wednesday afternoon amid relatives.
Rhett Nelson, a 30-year-old man from Utah, who had been reported missing by his family, was missing investigators said when identifying the suspected gunman. He was arrested a day after the shooting when his father called the authorities to hand him over.
"We have the suspect in custody," Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Wednesday at a news conference.
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Nelson was suspected to have gone to a jack-in-the-box restaurant on Monday night in a suburb of Alhambra in eastern Los Angeles and shot Solano in the head.
The 50-year-old deputy was off duty at this time. Paramedics brought him to the hospital in a serious condition and doctors put him to life-saving, Villanueva said.
Solano wore nothing to identify him as a police officer, and investigators said the shots were random.
He added that there is "no prior knowledge, there is no indication that he knows the person is a police officer."
He continued, "The deputy was made aware in the restaurant that someone was following him, and at that point he turned to face him, and at that point the shootout happened. "
Villanueva added. "The motive or justification of the suspect, that's a million-dollar question."
Long Beach Police arrested Nelson on Tuesday after stopping in a church and calling his father in Utah.
"In this appeal, he referred to a murder in Southern California," he added.
Wegener said Nelson's father had called the police who were following the call in the church, and shortly thereafter he was discovered by officers in Long Beach in a car near the church and arrested without incident.
Investigators said they would investigate if he had killed Another man had been in a seemingly random attack on Monday an hour earlier.
Chief Michel Moore of the Los Angeles Police Department said a 30-year-old man who stood on a street near downtown Los Angeles on Monday had been shot after someone in a vehicle "had a brief exchange with our Victims had "and" broke out shots ".
He added that Nelson's description and the car he drove were the same as in both shootings.
At Wednesday's press conference, Villanueva admitted that the police also investigated whether Nelson had been linked to numerous armed robberies in the San Diego area.
"There is an amazing amount of violent crime in such a short time, and we can only believe that this crime may have continued in this last incident," Villanueva said.
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"However, we are glad that the suspect's father held a very important telephone conversation with the police in Long Beach that we were able to put together the resources. Hold him down so that there are no more victims in that person's crime who did not seem to let up until he was actually arrested.
Nelson's father made a statement on Tuesday saying he was "indescribably sad" shooting "and to learn that our son Rhett is being held in connection with this terrible and pointless attack."
He said his son disappeared on May 26th.
In a Facebook post on May 30, Nelson's father said his son "has a history of opiate abuse and has been clean for about 6 months, but we know what a terrible fight this is." We pray for his safe return . "
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Nelson did not have a violent crime story in Utah, but previously pleaded guilty to running a" measurable amount "of controlled substance in his body.
Villanueva described him as a family man who was very popular with all who worked with him.
"Not only did I lose a father figure but also a best friend," said Solano's stepdaughter on Wednesday Reporters, as she kept back tears Quite whole prosecution. "
His son also became emotional when he attended the Solano press conference as "a really good father".
Solano's girlfriend described the attack as a "pointless tragedy" and thanked the law enforcement agencies for "arresting" the perpetrators. "
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She added," Although the result was not what we had wished for, we have comfort in the knowledge that he feels better place now.
The Associated Press has contributed to this report.