Hundreds pay respects to slain California police officer

AP News
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Posted: Nov 30, 2015 5:33 PM
Hundreds pay respects to slain California police officer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Law enforcement officers from across the nation wiped away tears and saluted a flag-draped coffin Monday at the funeral for a Southern California police officer who was shot and killed outside his department's headquarters.

Hundreds of mourners gathered at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles to remember Officer Ricardo "Ricky" Galvez. The 29-year-old former Marine was shot to death last month as he sat in his car near the suburban Downey Police Department in what authorities believe was a robbery attempt.

The crowd at the cathedral included family members, Downey officials and police, as well as officers from agencies in California and as far away as Chicago and New York City.

Downey Police Chief Carl Charles praised Galvez's compassion and commitment to service. He recounted a recent incident in which Galvez pulled over an elderly woman with expired vehicle tags only to find out she was a new widow with a limited income.

"The very next day, he showed his true measure as a man of goodwill when he paid the registration for her," Charles said.

Interment was scheduled later Monday. It comes after hundreds attended a vigil and rosary service Sunday to pay their respects to Galvez, who was a dog trainer for his department's K-9 unit. Eight dogs were brought to the Sunday service and their leashes were removed and tied to Galvez's casket.

Three male suspects — ages 16, 18 and 21 — were arrested following the Nov. 18 shooting. They face charges including murder with special circumstances and attempted second-degree robbery. All three also face gang allegations.

Their arraignments are scheduled for Dec. 17. If convicted, the older suspects could face the death penalty. Because of his age, the 16-year-old faces up to life in prison if convicted.