By all accounts, 27-year-old Fernando Arroyos was a pretty remarkable person. He grew up in Los Angeles and told his supervisor he had two major goals in life. He wanted to be the first person in his family to graduate from college. He achieved that when he graduated from UC Berkeley with honors a few years ago. His second goal was to become an LAPD officer. He accomplished that as well and had been on the force for three years. But Monday night Arroyos was shot and killed while out house hunting with his girlfriend.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the officer, Fernando Arroyos, 27, had just worked a series of days in patrol and had a day off on Monday, when he joined his girlfriend “on a hunt for a house, a place to live, a place to buy and invest in the city and in the future of this region.”
They had just parked their car and were crossing a street to look at a home there when three suspects drove up. “The officer yelled for his girlfriend to leave to run to go back to the car,” Moore said, and then exchanged gunfire with the suspects.
His girlfriend cared for him until deputies arrived at the scene but by that time he was unresponsive. He was transported to a local hospital in a squad car but was pronounced dead at the hospital. The LAPD set up a parade in the street as they transported his body from the hospital to a funeral home (photo above).
Lt. Rex Ingram who worked with Arroyos said he was impressed by his humility and his intelligence:
“The first time I read one of his reports I knew his writing skills were far superior to his peers and, frankly, some ways above the ability of his superiors,” Ingram said. “So, I asked him where he went to school, and he, being humble, says ‘LAUSD.’ And I reply, ‘Which college?’ and he says, ‘Cal Berkeley.’”
Arroyos was a devout Christian who grew up in a household with his mother, grandmother and stepfather, attended 42nd Street Elementary School and Audubon Middle School before graduating from Crenshaw High and heading to Berkeley, where he earned a degree in legal studies, Ingram said.
“He could have gone to law school or FBI like his peers with that education, but he wanted to serve his community and give back,” Ingram said. “He loved his community…. He was very close to his family.”
Ingram added, “This couldn’t happen to a nicer person.” A childhood friend described Arroyos as a hard worker:
Eddie Martinez, a friend who grew up with Arroyos, said the slain policeman was “just a good kid, super straight-edge, always hard-working, really, in school.”
Arroyos “definitely wanted the best for his family,” Martinez said.
Yesterday, police said they had detained five people as persons of interest in the crime, three men and two women. Today they announced that four people had been arrested but no names have been released yet.
This really seems like a case where the best that LA had to offer, in the form of this bright, hard-working young officer, met up with the worst it had to offer in the form of a group of dirtbags looking to rob a young couple. Here’s a local news report on the shooting.