(Dec. 27, 2006, updated frp, initial post) -- In a series of fast breaking developments, LBPD Chief Anthony Batts announced at a hastily called 6:20 p.m. news briefing that Oscar Gabriel Gallegos, the suspect wanted in the attempted murder of two LBPD officers in a midday shooting at LB Blvd/6th St. on Dec. 22, was believed involved in another officer involved shooting earlier today (Dec. 27)...in which Santa Ana police officers shot and killed a suspect...and the OC Coroner is in the process of determining whether the deceased is suspect Gallegos.
[update] LBReport.com has learned the LBPD officers. who were conducting surveillance, located suspect Gallegos at a Santa Ana strip mall...where they requested uniformed assistance from Santa Ana PD...and the suspect vs. SAPD shootout followed.
The information reached LBPD officials during a 5:00 p.m. news conference attended by Mayor Bob Foster, multiple Councilmembers and LB's City Auditor, called to announce a $75,000 reward in the case ($25,000 approved by the Council in a two-minute special meeting at 3 p.m. today).
During the news conference, something was whispered to LBPD officials...who indicated that a further news briefing would be held in ten minutes, then said in an hour...at which time Chief Batts announced that Gallegos had apparently been involved in the Santa Ana police shootout...and the person in the shootout was deceased.
LBReport.com has since learned the following from Santa Ana PD Sgt. Lorenzo Carrillo:
At about 5:10 p.m. Tuesday [while the LBPD reward news conference was taking place], LBPD officers (who'd been conducting a surveillance in Santa Ana) requested assistance from uniformed Santa Ana PD personnel to make contact with suspect Gallegos.
At the time, Gallegos was spotted in the passenger seat of a vehicle, driven by a second male, which was followed to a strip mall in the 200 block of E. Warner Ave. By the time SA officers arrived, both occupants of the vehicle had exited...and as officers drove into the parking lot to contact suspect Gallegos, he opened fire on SAPD officers with a pistol. Sgt. Carrillo said.
SAPD officers returned fire, striking the subject, Sgt. Carrillo said. Responding paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene; the second subject (who was driving the car) has been detained for investigation; no officers were injured in the shootout but there was property damage: an SAPD police car and two vehicles in the strip mall parking lot had gunshots to them...as well as two neighboring businesses, Sgt. Carrillo said.
The OC Coroner is expected on scene later tonight...and will make formal identification (expected Thursday).
During the 5:00 p.m. news conference, Chief Batts described Gallegos as a "known gang member" and read aloud his tattoos which included "LONGO," the letters B.V., a man wearing a sombrero...and another (around his belly button) with the phrasse "Confessing A Feeling."
Earlier in the day, LBReport.com was told by federal Immigration & Customs Enforcement that Gallegos had been deported three times. Julie Haley, a spokeswoman for the bureau's regional office, said Galleos was deported in 1996 and on two other previous occasions (dates not immediately available).
Among those attending the 5:00 p.m. news conference to announce the reward were Mayor Bob Foster; Vice Mayor Bonnie Lowenthal; Councilmembers Suja Lowenthal, Tonia Reyes Uranga, Rae Gabelich and Val Lerch and (observing from the audience) City Auditor Laura Doud and Assistant City Auditor Alex Cherin.