LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Dozens of officers from the Los Angeles Police Department gathered tonight to pay tribute to Officer Fernando Arroyos, shot to death Monday while protecting his girlfriend during an armed robbery.
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From Arroyos police academy classmates to the colleagues he worked with on the streets of LA, the men and women of LAPD stood side by side outside the Olympic Station to mourn the loss of a bright young officer who was stationed here for three years.
“When you work side by side with someone and suddenly they’re not there, it hits close to home,” the 27-year-old Arroyos’ training officer, Luis Interiano, said.
Many of the officers present at the vigil said they see a little piece of themselves in Arroyos, whose lifelong dream was to make the community he was raised in just a little bit safer.
“We grew up in LA, like I went to school two blocks from here. So, we do our jobs with pride,” Iteriano said.
Arroyos wanted to have the pride of ownership as well. While off duty Monday, he was house hunting with his girlfriend when investigators said three men in a pickup truck attempted to rob the couple. Arroyos died in an exchange of gunfire.READ MORE: Police Getting Additional Funds To Crack Down On Illegal Street Racing
“We’ll never forget. We’ll carry him in our work and it just reaffirms to us that this work matters,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said.
An emotional Moore would not go into detail about the four people now under arrest in connection with Arroyo’s murder. The chief only said that when all the evidence is presented to the public, it will be clear that Arroyos was an innocent victim of one of the increasingly violent street robberies that have been plaguing the city.
“The proportion of those robberies where people are carrying guns has increased far more. And every one of those instances, hundreds of more instances of robberies that now have a gun in the suspect’s hand, instead of a fist or bodily force, can have these types of tragic outcomes,” Moore said.
Arroyos mother said she believes her son’s killers were after his necklace.
“That is my boy, that is my little baby,” she said. “One chain. That chain is $200.”
She said can’t believe anyone would take his life for so little.MORE NEWS: Torrance Police Seek Public's Help In Shooting Death Of A Woman