LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two alleged gang members charged in the robbery and killing of an off-duty Los Angeles police officer will remain in federal custody without bail, a judge ruled Friday.
Officer Fernando Arroyos, 27, was fatally shot at about 9:15 p.m. Monday in an unincorporated area of south Los Angeles County that is in the territory of the Florencia 13 (F13) gang.
The suspects allegedly targeted him because of two silver chains or necklaces around his neck, authorities said Thursday when they announced federal charges against three alleged gang members and one associate.
Authorities have said Arroyos was shopping for a house with his girlfriend when a pickup truck approached. Several suspects got out, there was an argument and gunfire was exchanged between the assailants and the officer. Arroyos was shot once; his girlfriend was not hurt.
The defendants are charged with violent crime in aid of racketeering because the crimes were allegedly committed in furtherance of the gang, authorities said.
The suspects are alleged gang members Luis Alfredo De La Rosa Rios, 29, known as “Lil J”; Ernesto Cisneros, 22, known as “Gonzo” and Jesse Contreras, 34, known as “Skinny Jack” and “Flaco.” Rios’ girlfriend, 18-year-old Haylee Marie Grisham, is considered an associate of the gang.
Rios and Contreras were ordered held without bail Friday and are scheduled to return to federal court on Jan. 28, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.
Their attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday night.
Grisham is expected to appear in court on Tuesday. Cisneros is in the hospitals for injuries sustained during the attack and it is not known when he will be in court. It was not immediately clear whether they had lawyers who could speak on their behalf.
All four were taken into custody Wednesday.
Rios and Cisneros are the defendants who allegedly robbed and shot at Arroyos and his girlfriend but all four suspects were at the scene and involved in the crime, authorities said.
Florencia 13 is a Latino street gang founded in the early 1950s and based in the Florence-Firestone neighborhood of South LA, according to a federal affidavit. The violent group controls drug trafficking in the area and is allegedly overseen by the Mexican Mafia.