The wife of a man police say shot and killed two Los Angeles-area officers Tuesday offered her “deepest condolences” to their families and said she had warned the officers not to go into the motel room because he had a gun.
“I am so deeply sorry, my deepest condolences for saving me, I’m so, so, so sorry,” Diana Flores told KCBS-TV through tears Wednesday. “They didn’t deserve that or their families. They really didn’t. They were trying to help me and I told them before they went in the room, ‘Don’t go in. He has a gun.’”
She said Cpl. Michael Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana, of the El Monte Police Department, had responded to the Siesta Inn motel in El Monte Tuesday afternoon while she and her husband were there.
Justin William Flores started shooting at the officers as soon as they entered the motel room, police said. The officers were later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Flores was killed by police during a shootout in the parking lot.
Diana Flores said her husband had attacked her two days before the fatal shooting, and she had gone to the motel to get away from him, but he found her there.
Although the officers were responding to a report of a stabbing, Diana Flores said it must have been a “false call.” She said he stabbed her on Monday but not Tuesday.
Flores was on probation for being a felon in possession of a firearm at the time of the deadly shooting and had previously served time in prison for vehicle theft and first-degree burglary.
He pleaded guilty last year to that felony charge that could have sent him back to prison for three years.
Instead, he was sentenced to two years of probation and 20 days in jail and LA County District Attorney George Gascón is facing criticism for Flores’ plea deal. The DA is also facing a recall effort for his progressive policies.
“The sentence he received in the firearm case was consistent with case resolutions for this type of offense given his criminal history and the nature of the offense,” the DA’s office said in a statement Wednesday. “At the time the court sentenced him, Mr. Flores did not have a documented history of violence.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.