Murder of Officer Keith Boyer by Armed Parolee Gang Member Blasts Call for Reform
WHITTIER — 27-year Whittier Police Department veteran officer Keith Boyer (53) was gunned down Monday by armed multiple-release parolee/gang member Christopher Mejia (26) after the suspect collided into a car hours after allegedly murdering his cousin, Roy Torres (47) in East L.A. The unreported stolen car was pushed to the side of the road by the passengers of the rear-ended vehicle.
Mejia shot at officers Boyer and Patrick Hazell, who returned fire.
All three were rushed to the hospital, where Boyer died. A law enforcement procession transported him to the coroner. Later, hundreds formed a community vigil to support the beloved officers’ family.
Police Chief Jeff Piper consoled the gathering for his friend of 25 years, “It’s really hard for me to hold back my tears because all of us have been grieving since 10 this morning and I didn’t think I had any tears left.
Everyone needs to know what these officers are dealing with on a daily basis. You have no idea how it has changed in the last four years. This senseless tragedy did not need to be.”
As resisting-arrest statistics hit a 25-year high, Piper said, “We need to wake up. Enough is enough. You’re passing these propositions, you’re creating these laws that are raising crimes. It’s not good for our communities and it’s not good for our officers.
What you have today is an example of that. We need to pull our head out of the sand and realize what we are doing to our community and to our officers who give their lives like Officer Boyer did today.”
“I agree,” Azusa’s Police Chief Steve Hunt told CrimeVoice, “Prop 57 has had the most impact. More folks are out of prison. What we’re doing with reduction of jail terms and letting out onto the streets, is seeing re-offending and felony with repeats without recourse. Felons are pushed to county jail — with no room. These are real people, real situations, real deaths, and weapons.”
Sheriff Jim McDonnell announced, “We’re putting people back on the street that aren’t ready to be back on the street. Prop 47 minimizes who goes to prison, Prop 57 lets them out early, and AB 109 shifted the burdens from state to county jails. They all need to be evaluated.”
Contact Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500 with information regarding the ongoing investigation.