Rookie Pomona police officer Gregory Casillas, 30, was killed in the line of duty Friday night, about 80 miles of the Coachella Valley. On what was his last day of training, Casillas and another officer were struck by bullets fired by a suspect from behind a door. Casillas died at the hospital while the other officer is expected to survive.
It's situation so similar to the deadly shooting of two of Palm Springs' finest back in 2016. On October 8, 2016, veteran PSPD officer Jose 'Gil' Vega and rookie officer Lesley Zerebny were shot through a doorway after trying to make contact with a suspect in a home. A third officer was wounded but survived.
The Pomona shootings have specifically struck a chord with the local community after details emerged revealing several similarities to the Palm Springs incident.
"Our guys have already gone down there to provide support because we completely understand what they're going through," Sgt. William Hutchinson of the Palm Springs Police Department.
Members of the Palm Springs Police Department arrived at a makeshift memorial outside the Pomona Department Saturday afternoon to show their support. It was a familiar sight to those who lived in the Coachella Valley following the deaths of officers Zerebny and Vega.
"The situation was similar, eerily similar to what we experienced in the same situation. A brand new officer and a veteran officer who was training and again chasing a very bad individual, but that's what we do," Hutchinson said.
"It just brings all of the dangers of our job right back home. I'm sure in every briefing from yesterday to today and tomorrow they're going to be talking about situational awareness, tactics, being safe. You know, we need to go home at night," said Sgt. Dan Marshall of the Indio Police Department.
Noticias en español: Telemundo 15