A missing rookie Los Angeles police officer wanted on suspicion of murder has "disgraced the badge and the uniform of the LAPD" and will be fired, Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday,
Officer Henry Solis, 27, was charged in an arrest warrant Monday with murder in the shooting death of 23-year-old Salome Rodriguez Jr., according to the Pomona Police Department. The victim was found after Pomona police responded to 911 calls reporting gunfire last week.
"If Henry Solis is watching this ... you have dishonored this police department, your country and your service to the country and your family," Beck said at Tuesday's Police Commission Meeting. "You should turn yourself in and face the consequences for your action."
Beck said he will sign the dismissal papers for the officer, who had been on the force since last June and was in the probationary period of his service. That means Beck doesn't need to go through the civil service bureaucracy in order to fire him.
"The mere fact that he is not cooperating with the Pomona Police Department and he has not shown up for work is sufficient to terminate," Beck said.
"This is one of those instances where I could take immediate action, so I will," he continued.
Solis was off-duty at the time of the shooting. A vehicle wanted in connection with the crime was found Sunday in a Pomona alley, several blocks from where Rodriguez Jr. was gunned down after what authorities described as a fistfight.
On Monday, police said Solis might now be using a brown or tan 1992 Ford pickup with California license plate 4J79703. An arrest warrant described him as "armed and dangerous."
Beck said Solis is a Marine vet and that there was nothing in his background that suggested he wouldn't be a good officer.
Over the past few days, dozens of family and friends of the victim have stopped by a memorial set up at the scene of the crime. They say they are shocked that a cop could be involved in such a cold-blooded crime.
"For a police officer getting paid to protect us -- off-duty or not -- he took my brother's life," the victim's brother, Brian Rodriguez, said while choking back tears. "I'd love for him [Solis] to turn himself in."
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Police asked anyone with information to call 909-620-2085.