Herald American Lead Story

Funeral services set for Downey police officer

DOWNEY — Funeral services for Downey police officer Ricardo (Ricky) Galvez will be held at 9 a.m. Nov. 30 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 West Temple St., Los Angeles, a police spokesperson said.

Immediately following the funeral, there will be a graveside service with full police honors at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier.

A Rosary service and viewing for Officer Galvez will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Downey Civic Theatre, 8435 Firestone Blvd. Doors will open at 5 p.m., the spokesperson said.

Galvez was fatally shot in an apparent botched robbery attempt about 11 p.m. Nov. 18 behind the police station, 10911 Brookshire Ave. He was 29 and a five-year veteran of the Downey Police Department.

Two men and a juvenile have been charged with murder in the case.

Steven Knott, 18, and Jeremy Anthony Alvarez, 21, were both being held without bail. They appeared in court here Nov. 24 along with 16-year-old Abel Diaz of Bellflower. Diaz, who will turn 17 at the end of the week, is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Arraignments for the three were postponed to Dec. 17.

Meanwhile, a fund has been established to financially help officer Galvez’s family, composed of his mother, two sisters and a brother in South Gate, where Galvez resided.

Those wishing to help may send checks made out to the Ricardo Galvez Fund to either

Mike Pope, president of the Downey Police Officers Association, 10911 Brookshire Ave., Downey, 90241 or to Downey Federal Credit Union, 8237 Third St., Downey, 90241.

Galvez was raised in South Gate, graduated from Bell Gardens High School and enlisted in the U.S. Marines, serving in Iraq in 2009.

At a news conference about 6:30 a.m. the morning after the shooting, Downey Police Chief Carl Charles described the fatally wounded officer.

“This morning I stand before you with a heavy heart,” Charles said. “It is with great sadness that I report one of Downey’s finest was shot and killed. Ricky … was a tremendous young man, who loved serving the residents of Downey. His smile was infectious, and his professionalism was always on display.”

“Every day, the brave men and women of our Downey Police Department put themselves at personal risk to keep us all safe,” Downey Mayor Luis Marquez said. “We are incredibly sorrowed by the loss of Officer Galvez and our thoughts and prayers are with all who knew and loved him.”

“I am shocked and saddened by the news that Downey Police Officer Ricardo Galvez was shot and killed, U.S Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard said in a statement. “I hope that those who committed this chilling crime will quickly be brought to justice. My deepest sympathies and prayers are with Officer Galvez’s family, friends and co-workers in this difficult time.”

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Downey, called it a sad day for Downey and her Assembly district. “Late last night, in a cowardly, unprovoked attack, we lost Downey police officer Ricky Galvez,” Garcia said. “As a Marine veteran and a dedicated police officer, Ricky Galvez served our community as a selfless public servant and his tragic loss is felt today not only by the city Downey, but by all Californians. My condolences to his family, friends, and coworkers at this difficult time.”

Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau, said Galvez was found dead in his car, shot once. He had just finished his shift and was in plainclothes and in his own unmarked car.

The three suspects, apparently looking for someone to rob, drove into the parking lot and approached the officer’s vehicle, apparently not knowing he was a police officer or for that matter that he was parked behind the police station. For an unknown reason, shots were fired into the vehicle, one of them striking the victim, Corina said.

A nearby Downey police car on patrol heard the shots, saw the suspect vehicle and followed them into the area of Carob Way and Washington Boulevard in Montebello, where the suspects left their vehicle and fled on foot. Alvarez was apprehended running through back yards of homes in the 1000 block of Carob Way while the other two were seen entering a house, Corina said.

SWAT teams from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Montebello Police Department responded and surrounded the house. SWAT team members entered the house and arrested Knott and Diaz without incident, Corina said.