The man who police say murdered El Monte Police Department officer Joseph Santana and Corporal Michael Paredes at a motel Tuesday afternoon was on probation at the time for being a felon in possession of a firearm, court records and officials confirmed.
Family members and law enforcement sources told the I-Team that Justin William Flores, 35, was killed during the confrontation with the officers, that happened after someone called 9-1-1 and reported a stabbing in progress.
LA Superior Court records show Flores was sentenced in February of 2021 to 20 days in jail and two years probation after he pleaded no contest to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm following an arrest in March of 2020.
Prosecutors dismissed two other counts when Flores entered the plea; one for being a felon in possession of ammunition and another of being in possession of methamphetamine.
The records show Flores was considered a felon because of a 2011 conviction for burglary that led to a 2-year term in state prison.
Court records also showed at least a dozen other prosecutions, many resolved with no contest pleas and probationary sentences, for charges such as driving with a suspended license, being under the influence of a controlled substance, or resisting arrest.
Law enforcement sources told the I-Team they believed at least one of the two murdered officers would have recognized Flores on sight and by name.
Flores' family members said he had been working in construction and sometimes stayed with his longtime girlfriend at the Siesta Inn motel on Garvey Ave. where the shooting happened.
Family members told NBCLA that they'd seen Flores recently and said he seemed "fine."