A California officer was fatally shot Wednesday night in what investigators described as a botched robbery attempt in the Downey Police Department parking lot, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigators.
Two adults and a juvenile were in custody in connection with the slaying after a pursuit and manhunt in the nearby community of Montebello. Details regarding their identities were not immediately available.
The officer gunned down at about 11 p.m. Wednesday was identified as 29-year-old Ricky Galvez, a Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and joined the police department in 2006 as a police aide. He was hired as an officer in the community southeast of downtown Los Angeles in March 2010.
"One of Downey's finest was shot and killed," said Chief Carl Charles. "He was a tremendous young man. His smile and professionalism were always on display. ... Words cannot express the love we have for Ricky."
Galvez was at the end of his shift and in his personal car in the parking lot when two individuals approached, said Lt. John Corina, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Galvez had been participating in a K9 training program, in which he served as a "bite agitator," and was not in his police uniform at the time, according to police.
"They ran up on his car," Corina said.
It was not immediately clear how many rounds were fired. Galvez died at the scene.
The attackers likely did not realize Galvez was a police officer, Corina said. A handgun was recovered at the site of the shooting, he said.
Another officer in a patrol vehicle heard the gunfire and saw a driver speeding away, leading to a pursuit that ended in the Montebello area and a search for the attackers, Corina said.
At least five people were detained early Thursday during the manhunt in the Montebello, about five miles north of Downey, authorities said. SWAT members were part of a search in the 1000 block of Carob Way, where residents were ordered out of at least one house with their hands up.
It was not immediately clear whether the three individuals in custody were apprehended during the early morning SWAT operation. Corina said the shooting was the result of a "botched robbery attempt."
"It looks like these guys were looking for someone to rob," Corina said of the suspects.
SWAT members left the search area in Montebello at about 7 a.m. Resident William Macareno arrived home during the overnight manhunt to find streets were blocked in what he described as a tense situation.
"I called my cousin who was already here, and when he came outside they drew guns on him," Macareno said. "They told him to hang up the phone, and they told him to go back inside."
Macareno told NBC4 that a girlfriend of one of the attackers lives in the neighborhood. The woman was transported from the location in a police patrol car, Macareno said. Police did not immediately confirm that information.
The coroner removed the body, draped under a U.S. flag, from the parking lot at about 10 a.m. Thursday. Officers and other colleagues lined the path to the coroner's van. A Downey Fire Department truck with a large U.S. flag hanging from the end of the extended ladder was parked near the crime scene.
The Downey Police Department has not reported a death involving an officer in the line of duty since a fatal 1981 traffic collision.
Refresh this developing story for updates.
NBC4's Nyree Arabian and Corey Arvin contributed to this report.