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“He’s a good family man”: family of officer shot and killed Tuesday night

By Jeff Nguyen

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    EL MONTE, California (KCAL, KCBS) — After a deadly shooting in El Monte, Olga Garcia only has memories of her son left.

Garcia’s son, 31-year-old Joseph Santana was one of the two El Monte Police officers killed during a gunfight outside of the Siesta Inn off Garvey and Central Avenues Tuesday night.

Santana leaves behind his wife Sasha, daughter Jayde and twin boys — Joshua and Jacob.

“He’s a good family man,” Garcia said. “Really good with his kids. He’s very funny. He would always crack jokes.”

Santana had worked for El Monte as a public works employee for six years before starting his law enforcement career San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy. After three years, he returned to his hometown to join the El Monte Police Department and follow in the footsteps of his stepfather, Joe Garcia.

Santana was there for less than a year before he died.

“He said his dream was to work for El Monte PD, that city he grew up in,” said Garcia. “He got his dream.”

Santana and his partner, Corporal Michael Paredes, responded to reports of a stabbing when they were gunned down by 35-year-old Justin Flores, who was on probation at the time of the shooting.

Flores’ wife, who the officers were trying to help, expressed her condolences Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m so deeply sorry. My condolences for saving me,” said Diana Flores. “I’m so sorry. They didn’t deserve that. They were trying to help me.”

But as she continues to mourn the loss of her son, Garcia said she didn’t want an apology.

“I don’t want nothing to do with them,” she said. “I don’t want no apology. I don’t want anything.”

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