A story for every victim

Roy Roger Torres, 47

Roy Roger Torres, a 47-year-old Latino, died Monday, Feb. 20, after he was shot in the 1400 block of Volney Drive in East Los Angeles, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. 

Torres moved into the garage outside his family home two years earlier to help care for his ailing father, family member Gina Gomez told The Times.

Investigators have released few details about the shooting, but they believe Torres’ cousin, Christopher Michael Mejia, 26, shot him in the garage sometime during the night or early morning of Feb. 20, and then stole his car, a Dodge sedan, which had been parked outside, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Bill Cotter. 

Torres was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:29 a.m., according to coroner’s records. Police believe Mejia shot two Whittier Police Department officers, killing one, about two and a half hours later.

Torres had one son, Gomez said. “He was a loving family member, a devoted son and father,” she said, but declined to speak further about the shooting.

Mejia, 26, is a gang member and felon who spent three years in prison for robbery and then almost two more years for stealing a family member’s car, The Times reported. After his release from prison  in April of 2016, Mejia has been jailed at least four times for probation violations, including methamphetamine possession and running from deputies, sheriff’s Lt. John Corina told The Times. 

His grandfather, Lino Mejia, told The Times that Mejia has struggled with meth addiction, and appeared to be using drugs again shortly before the shooting. 

Lino Mejia said his grandson had been staying with him in his East Los Angeles home since he was most recently released from jail on Feb, 11, The Times reported. The grandfather and Torres’ family live a few miles apart in East LA, Cotter said.  

After killing his cousin, investigators believe Mejia drove to Whittier, where he rear-ended another car shortly before 8 a.m. at Colima Road and Mar Vista Street. As Mejia and the other driver were moving the vehicles to the side of the road, two Whittier police officers, Keith Boyer and Patrick Hazell, arrived. 

Mejia shot at the officers, who returned fire, authorities said. Boyer and Hazell, a young officer with three years on the force, were injured, as was Mejia. 

Boyer, 53, was taken to the University of California Irvine Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.  

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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