Rookie Los Angeles police officer sought in fatal bar shooting

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 16, 2015 1:12 PM

By Michael Fleeman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A rookie Los Angeles police officer was being sought on suspicion of murder on Monday in the fatal Southern California shooting of another man in a bar district, and authorities warned that he was considered armed and dangerous.

Henry Solis was off-duty on Friday morning when gunfire killed 23-year-old Salome Rodriguez, Jr. in the bar district in Pomona, 30 miles east of Los Angeles, Pomona police said on Monday.

A 27-year-old probationary officer assigned to the Devonshire Division in the San Fernando Valley, Solis later failed to show up for work on Saturday, and his car was found on Sunday abandoned near the scene.

"Suspect Solis is a police officer and should be considered armed and dangerous," Pomona police said in a statement. "The suspect knows he is wanted, and that police are actively searching for him."

An arrest warrant was issued on Monday for Solis, who had previously been sought for questioning as a "person of interest" in the case, and Pomona police warned the public that it was a felony offense to harbor a fugitive.

Solis had no record of disciplinary action against him since joining the Los Angeles Police Department last June, said Los Angeles police spokeswoman Officer Rosario Herrera, adding that the LAPD was assisting Pomona police in the investigation.

On Friday morning, officers responding to multiple calls of gunshots found Rodriguez suffering at least one bullet wound to his abdomen, according to Pomona police. He later was pronounced dead at the hospital.

A preliminary investigation found Rodriguez and another man "were engaged in a physical altercation" just before the shooting," the police statement said. "It is unknown if the suspect and the victim knew each other."

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Susan Heavey and Eric Walsh)