Recently, officers seem to be getting ambushed more often than ever before, leading to more officer injuries and in some cases more officers down.
String of Burglaries
According to ABC 30, California officers were investigating commercial burglaries that all happened late at night. The San Luis Obispo officers went to an apartment of interest.
Detective Luca Benedetti, a 12- year veteran, was with five other officers serving a search warrant around 5:30 p.m. As they served the warrant, the suspect opened fire on the officers.
Two officers were hit, Benedetti and Detective Steve Orozco. Orozco sustained injuries from the gunfire. He went to the hospital for treatment and was subsequently released. However, Benedetti died from his injuries.
The suspect was identified as Edward Zamora Giron. He apparently knew the officers were coming and was ready for a shootout. He fired at the officers and had some injuries from the officer's return fire. Ultimately, he died by his own hand, shooting and killing himself during the exchange.
One neighbor, Victoria Torres, 21, was in her upstairs bedroom, and the situation caught her attention.
“I heard like a very loud knocking — I don’t know if it was the police or what,” Torres said. “I always hear noises here so I didn’t think anything of it until I heard the gunshots.“
She said she didn't know what gunshots sounded like but heard something, "so extremely loud." According to San Luis Obispo Tribune, she saw an officer's car outside her window.
She was curious as to what was going on, so she checked her other window downstairs. Torres said, "That's when I saw the man." She saw him start shooting at the officer from the doorway of an apartment and saw the officers taking cover behind their cars.
Benedetti was with the San Luis Obispo Police Department since 2012 and served on the regional SWAT team. Before that, he was with the Atascadero Police Department for four years.
Benedetti was 37-years old and leaves behind his wife and two children.
"This is a tragedy beyond measure for all of those who serve and care about our community. Our deepest condolences go out to the family. We are devastated by this loss."City Manager Derek Johnson
Condolences from the law enforcement community had been flooding in on social media for this officer who bravely lost his life in the line of duty.