Slain Officer To Be Honored at El Monte High Football Game

EL MONTE (CNS) – The No. 4 jersey worn by slain El Monte Police Department Officer Joseph Santana when he played football for El Monte High School will be presented to his family at halftime of Friday evening’s home game against Viewpoint.

Santana played safety and receiver for the Lions in 2008. His fellow officers and teammates will attend the ceremony, which will include a helicopter flyover, and former coach Joel Sanchez will speak.

The 2009 El Monte High School graduate and Sgt. Michael Paredes, 42, were fatally shot the afternoon of June 14 when they entered a room at the Siesta Inn at 10327 Garvey Ave. to confront a suspect in a reported stabbing.

Santana spent six years working for  El Monte’s Public Works Department, then was a deputy with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department for three years. He joined the El Monte Police Department in 2021. The 31-year-old is survived by his wife of seven years, a 9-year-old daughter and 2-year-old twin boys.

The suspect, 35-year-old probationer Justin William Flores, ran from the room after the shooting and exchanged gunfire with at least one other officer in a parking lot. He subsequently died at the scene of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.

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