|(Dec. 24, 2006, updated Dec. 25) -- In a dramatic 10 p.m. Dec. 23 news conference, LB Police Chief Anthony Batts announced that LBPD's suspect in the Dec. 22 shooting of two of its police officers at LB Blvd./6th St. is Oscar Gabriel Gallegos, 33, of LB. [middle name posted as revised Dec. 25 by PD]
Chief Batts cited a number of the suspect's arrests...including what he said appears to include at least one deportation.
LBPD released photo
"In 1994, it appears that he was deported, and actually we have some indication that he may have been deported several times and made it back to this country," Chief Batts said at the news conference.
Looking directly at TV news cameras and addressing suspect Gallegos, Chief Batts said, "Turn yourself in 'cause we're comin' for you. We are going to track you down. You cannot run far enough or long enough until we catch you."
Chief Batts said the two LBPD officers, who were conducting a traffic stop and were shot while inside their police car, were "ambushed by a cowardly suspect." He called Gallegos a "known local thug and criminal."
When asked by a reporter about the suspect's record, Chief Batts replied that Gallegos had been arrested 1990 in LB for a firearm violation; in 1994 appeared to have been deported (with some indication that he may have been deported several times and returned); had arrests in 1994 for drug charges; in 1997 arrested [not convicted] on terrorist threats and assault with a deadly weapon...and in 2001 for public intoxication (Santa Ana).
Chief Batts said suspect Gallegos has familymembers in Long Beach...and added that LBPD would pursue charges against anyone harboring the suspect.
LBPD released photos
|In a written release, LBPD identified the two wounded officers as Officer Roy Wade (left photo) and Officer Abe Yap (right photo).
Officer Yap, 37, is a nine-year LBPD veteran; Officer Wade, 39, is an officer just three weeks out of the Academy.
LBPD's release says "Officer Yap sustained a gunshot wound to the face that entered at the lip line and exited his cheek. Officer Wade sustained multiple gunshot wounds to the upper chest and neck area. Both are in critical but stable condition."
At the news conference, Chief Batts indicated the officers are "fighting a good battle" and doing better than expected at this point.
LBPD says suspect Gallegos is wanted for the attempted murder of Officers Wade and Yap. The suspect is Hispanic, 5'9" tall, 250 pounds, with short hair or a shaved head...and tattoos on both forearms.
LBPD emphasizes in its release: "Suspect Gallegos should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. At no time should anyone attempt to contact him or detain him." If you have any information about suspect Gallegos' whereabouts, call LBPD at (562) 435-6711.