Law Enforcement

Well-liked Downey Police Officer Killed in Attempted Robbery Turned Tragic – UPDATED X2

On Wednesday night around 11 PM, Downey Police officer Ricardo Galvez—Ricky to his friends-
–was sitting in his own car in the parking lot of the Downey police department, when two young men and a teenager spotted him and, reportedly intended to rob him.

Instead reportedly two of the three ran up from behind, and one shot him. Galvez died while still in his car.

The 29-year-old officer had been on the force for five years and was well-liked. “A tremendous young man,” said Downey Police Chief Carl Charles, of Galvez. He was also a Marine reservist, serving two tours of duty, first in Iraq, then Afghanistan.

When the news of Galvez’ death was initially being reported Thursday morning, it was thought he may have been targeted. But that idea was dispelled when police apprehended the two men and a teenager—21, 18 and 16-years old, respectively—who are now being held as suspects responsible for the fatal shooting. The three admitted they’d been trying to rob the officer—whom they’d not recognized as a police officer.

According to a report by Cindy Chang, Richard Winton and Brittny Mejia for the LA Times, Glavez was just back from a K-9 training class, had gone off duty and was wearing his own clothes as he sat in his personal BMW.

The LA Times has more on the heartbreaking death of Officer Rickey Galvez.

Here’s a clip:

“The man was full of joy. He always brought a smile,” said Eleazar Aguilar, who served with Galvez in Pico Rivera.

“He was always the leader in the unit, there was no question about that. My heart goes out to his family. Every single Marine feels their pain today,”

Lloyd Vernis, 29, served with Galvez in Ramadi, Iraq. When Vernis opened a barbershop called The Pride on Firestone Boulevard, Galvez persuaded his fellow Downey police officers to patronize the business. Galvez got a haircut there about once a week, Vernis said.

“He loved the Corps. He loved the police force,” Vernis said before breaking down in tears.

Galvez is survived by a mother, a brother who is a jailer at the Downey Police Department, and two younger sisters.

UPDATE: Sixteen-year-old Abel Diaz is being charged as an adult with murder for his part in the killing of Downey Police officer Ricky Galvez on Wednesday night.

Diaz will be arraigned on Monday. Prosecutors are expected to ask for $1 million in bail. If Diaz is convicted, he will face life in prison.

The other suspects in the case have not been identified by name, but are describe as two young men, ages 21 and 18.

Diaz’s sister, Maricela Alvarado, 24, told reporters that her younger brother was not the shooter and had no intention of harming the officer.

According to the LA Times, Alvarado showed several reporters a text message she said her brother sent her a few minutes after Officer Galvez was fatally shot.

The text reportedly read: “Mari I love all y’all my homie fucked up n did something.”


Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau detectives have identified the other two suspects in the murder of Downey Police Department Officer Ricardo Galvez.

The suspects have been identified as brothers Steven Knott, 18, and Jeremy Anthony Alvarez, 21.

Knott and Alvarez have been charged with murder and are being held without bail.

LASD detectives reportedly believe that Diaz and Knott crept up on Galvez, while Alvarez acted as the getaway driver.



    Sure Fire, Ricardo Galvez, a promising, bright, dedicated, courageous, caring and decent young police officer and former Marine was shot dead at on Wednesday night in the course of a clumsy botched robbery. It appears he never saw his killer coming. He died in his car without ever reaching the hospital. Three people have been arrested. One has already been charged with murder, a 16-year-old who likely was not the shooter. The other two will be charged shortly, if they’ve not been already.

    His friends said Galvez truly liked the community he was policing. And he was also devoted to his fellow cops and his fellow Marines.

    But clearly our reporting on those established facts isn’t enough for you.

    Here’s the deal. I don’t view Ricky Galvez’s death as a political point to be made. Speaking personally, I see it as a tragedy for which there are no words adequate to express the depth of the pain his mother is feeling tonight—or what his brother, and his two sisters are feeling.

    Professionally speaking, I honor Galvez best by reporting the facts of his death—and his life—as accurately as I can.


  • I suppose celeste can’t comprehend the fact that a 16 year old coward is capable of committing cold-blooded murder. Or why else would you say” a 16 year-old who likely was not the shooter”. Well, you are wrong!! he did pull the trigger. I don’t know if it’s just sloppy journalism or you have no clue what’s happening out in these streets.
    God forbid, someone interferes with this thug’s GED courses while he rots in prison. Don’t worry little scum,the advocates (including celeste ) will have your back and maybe one day she will write about your sad story on wla.


  • Celeste.True reporting will always have the disgruntled dissidents. Keep up the Great work. Your supporters are in the majority. Opinions vary in the comment section, (as they should) however sour grapes among the few are minute in the monumental arena of journalism.

  • Prayers for Marine/Officer Galvez and his family. It is truly a sad day for law enforcement. This is the reality of police work today.

  • Read 187PC Celeste, the charge is what it is, murder. Guy runs up and shoots someone regardless of their stations in life it’s a murder. That’s accurate!

  • RIP Brother! I think there is more to the story, it’s a secluded area, marked police/DB parking signs in the area and not really near through streets.
    One question could he have possibly worked briefly for LASD? Myself and co-workers think he might have been a “Off The Streeter” ???

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