Two California police officers were killed while on duty in the span of 24 hours, officials said Tuesday.
Detective Luca Benedetti with the San Luis Obispo Police Department was fatally shot Monday evening by a suspect in an apartment complex while police were executing a search warrant for allegedly stolen property, the department said Tuesday. Another officer, Detective Steven Orozco, was wounded during that shooting and was treated at a hospital.
In Stockton, Officer Jimmy Inn was shot and killed Tuesday morning while responding to a domestic violence call, officials said. The suspect who shot Inn was killed by another officer who later arrived on the scene.
The shootings followed a weekend in which there were at least 11 mass shootings in the US that left at least 17 people dead and 35 wounded, CNN reporting and analysis of data from Gun Violence Archive, local media and police reports show.
CNN defines a mass shooting as an incident with four or more people killed or wounded by gunfire, excluding the shooter.
Officers shot and killed on duty
Benedetti and Orozco were among the six officers serving a search warrant for possible stolen property related to recent commercial burglaries, the police department said in a statement. The officers forced open the apartment’s door after knocking, identifying themselves and not receiving a response, police said.
Edward Zamora Giron, the suspect in Benedetti’s fatal shooting, was waiting for the officers and fired at them, killing Benedetti and wounding Orozco, police said.
Giron, 37, died from self-inflicted gunshot wound and other injuries consistent with being struck by the officers who returned fire.
Benedetti, 37, is survived by his wife and two young children, according to the police department. He had been in law enforcement for 12 years.
“Our community is heartbroken,” San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon said in a statement. “Detective Benedetti loved this City and bravely gave his life so that we could live in peace and safety. Luca’s children have lost their father so we could be safe. We will hold Detective Benedetti and his family in our hearts forever.”
Orozco is expected to make a full recovery, the police department said.
Meanwhile, in Stockton, a suspect shot and killed Inn when the officer was responding Tuesday to a domestic violence call, Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones said during a press conference.
“I would like to remind everyone that Jimmy Inn was responding to a domestic violence report, to assist a domestic violence victim and he died protecting those who cannot protect themselves,” Jones said.
The man, who was not identified by police on Tuesday, fatally shot the 30-year-old officer at the front door of a residence and then went back inside, grabbed an eight-year-old boy and began to strangle the child, Jones said.
At that point, a person from the community stepped in to tackle the man, Jones said. Another officer arrived to the scene and fatally shot the man.
“Indications are that the suspect was attempting to kill the eight-year-old boy,” Jones said.
Inn is survived by his wife, who is also an officer with the police department, a seven-month-old baby and two stepchildren ages 12 and 14. He served in the Stockton Police Department since late 2015.
Investigations in both shootings are ongoing.
Overall, cities across America have been seeing an uptick in homicides, with major cities reporting a 33% increase in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic swept the country. Criminology experts have indicated that some factors in play include economic uncertainty, Covid’s severing of social connections and a mistrust of the police.