South Gate council honors former resident for heroism

March 16, 2018

SOUTH GATE — The City Council March 13 honored a former resident for confronting a gunman at a workplace in Rancho Cucamonga, preventing the suspect from attempting to shoot employees.

Mayor Maria Davila issued a certificate of appreciation to Martin Torrea in recognition of his heroism in thwarting an attack by a gunman. Councilman Jorge Morales placed the item on the agenda.

Torrea grew up in the South Gate, or as he likes to say, “South Great.” He attended San Gabriel Elementary, South Gate Junior High and graduated from South Gate High School in 1995. He played football all four years for the Rams of South Gate and was part of two championship teams, said South Gate Police Chief Randall Davis.

Torrea’s mother still resides in South Gate.

On Nov. 10, 2017, Torrea was working as a safety consultant and was conducting a monthly safety class at the Rancho Cucamonga Goodyear Rubber plant when he came face-to-face with a gunman, a former employee of the company who had returned to confront his former employer, Davis said.

“The gunman walked into the company conference room where the training was taking place and started shouting and cursing, and eventually directed his attention directly at a woman in the audience,” Davis said. After Torrea saw the suspect reach for a handgun, he immediately ran toward the suspect and grabbed him and tried to wrestle the gun away from him.

“While the others fled the room, the two men continued to scuffle and at least one round was fired from the suspect’s gun. Torrea continued to struggle with the suspect and the suspect eventually lost control of the gun and dropped it from his grasp.

“When Torrea tried to stop the suspect from leaving the building, the suspect pepper-sprayed him and fled the scene. The suspect was eventually apprehended and was charged with six counts of attempted murder,” Davis said.

“Martin’s actions that day undoubtedly saved the lives of the employees he protected, truly exemplifying the definition of heroism,” the police chief said.


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