An illegal immigrant who had been deported from the United States several times but returned each time and now was being sought for wounding two police officers in Long Beach, Calif., has died in a shooting with officers who tracked him to a taco stand in Santa Ana, authorities have confirmed.
Santa Ana Police Chief Paul Walters said Oscar Gabriel Gallegos, wanted for the shooting of Long Beach officers Abram Yap and Roy Wade Jr. as they sat in their squad car Dec. 22, died while trying to shoot three of his officers with a .40-caliber Glock equipped with a laser sight. Walters told the Orange County Register that Gallegos carried two fully loaded magazines in his pocket during the confrontation.
“He was either going to kill the officers or be killed,” Walters said. “Fortunately, the right person got killed.”
The Long Beach officers, who had stopped Gallegos for running a red light, are recovering from their injuries in the hospital, officials said.
At a news conference, Steve Cooley, the Los Angeles County district attorney, said Gallegos was an illegal immigrant who had been deported to Mexico several times, most recently in 1996, according to federal immigration records.
Authorities in Long Beach said Gallegos also had faced weapons and drug charges over the years, and Police Chief Anthony Batts said Gallegos was “an evil man.”
Reports said Yap was shot once in the face and Wade, a rookie with less than a month on the force, was hit in the neck and chest. Neither officer had had an opportunity to get out of their car and they never shot back.
After the shooting and Gallegos was identified as the sole suspect, federal authorities tracked him to Santa Ana, and undercover detectives from Long Beach reportedly found him at a strip mall. Authorities said Gallegos apparently saw a police car arrive and he began shooting before the officers could get out of the car.
The arriving officers, members of a SWAT unit, returned fire and killed Gallegos, authorities said.
After the first shooting, police said the officers had just stopped Gallegos when he got out of his vehicle and shot the two, firing through the windshield of their cruiser.
WND also has been reporting on a growing list of illegal immigrants who have not only ignored U.S. immigration laws, but state laws against drinking and driving as well, killing innocents on the highways in the process.