Posted by Curt on 25 June, 2005 at 8:05 pm. 6 comments already!

Sorry the posting has been kinda light the last few days. Yesterday a friend of mine, Deputy Jerry Ortiz, was shot and killed while doing a follow-up investigation in the city of Hawaiian Gardens, CA. What a great cop this guy was with a heart the size of Texas. As I’m sure you can tell by the above picture that he was a boxer, just look at that nose. Everyone used to kid him about that….He was just married 3 weeks ago.

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy interviewing a woman and a man outside a Hawaiian Gardens apartment was fatally shot Friday when a gunman burst out of the residence, put a handgun to the officer’s face and fired, authorities said.Sheriff’s deputies fanned out across Hawaiian Gardens late Friday in search of the gunman, who apparently surprised Deputy Jerry Ortiz, 35, as he spoke to the woman in the doorway of her apartment. Authorities said Ortiz probably died instantly.

“This was an assassination of a deputy,” Sheriff Lee Baca said. “It was a sudden attack that gave the deputy no chance.”

Deputies identified the suspect as Jose Luis Orozco, 27, a parolee wanted on suspicion of attempted murder in another case.

“He should be considered armed and very dangerous,” said sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore.

Deputies said that Orozco is 5-foot-8, 135 pounds, with tattoos of “devil’s horns” on his forehead and other tattoos over his upper body. They said he is a gang member known by the nickname “Sepy.”

Ortiz, who had hoped to become a detective soon, had worked for the Sheriff’s Department for 15 years and was known as an extremely hard worker whose job was to penetrate the inner workings of local gangs. The Diamond Bar resident was married two weeks ago to his second wife, Chela. He is also survived by two sons, ages 6 and 16.

Last year, Ortiz won the department’s Medal of Honor after he fatally shot a carjacker who drew a gun on him and his partner, Det. Colin Orpe.

“He was an outstanding person, who would go out of his way to help people,” said Orpe, a longtime friend. “We’re all mourning,” he said, choking back tears.The shooting occurred about 3:10 p.m. in the 12200 block of 223rd Street in Hawaiian Gardens, a working-class city at the northeastern border of Long Beach that has long been plagued by gang violence. The town of 14,000 has struggled economically in recent years, luring a casino to help balance its shaky finances.

Ortiz’s body was discovered by residents who heard the gunfire. They tried to aid the deputy and dialed 911, authorities said. Ortiz was working without his longtime partner at the time of the attack.

Undersheriff Larry Waldie said Ortiz had arrived for work early, as he often did, and was so eager to begin his day that he struck out on his own. “He didn’t want to wait,” Waldie said.

Asked if Ortiz might have lived had his partner been with him, Waldie said there was no way to know.

“There might have been two people killed,” he said.

The shooting was followed by confusion as scores of deputies descended on the area with dogs and rifles but little knowledge of what had occurred.

A sheriff’s SWAT team encircled the apartment complex where it was believed that the gunman could be hiding.

Patrol deputies detained as many as nine potential witnesses and others in an effort to learn details of the shooting. Nearly all of them were rounded up in a liquor store next to the apartment complex. Television news footage showed the men and women sitting on the curb in handcuffs as deputies interviewed them and swabbed their hands for possible gunshot residue.

“We don’t know where the shots came from,” Sheriff’s Sgt. Vanette Christensen said soon after the incident. “A person who lived in the building called 911 and said that an officer was shot and that he was outside.”

A second deputy suffered a minor injury when he slipped and fell while rushing to the scene, according to the Sheriff’s Department. He was taken to the hospital and is “going to be fine,” Christensen said.

As armored vehicles and helmeted deputies rolled past liquor stores and strip malls, news helicopters recorded footage of paramedics wheeling Ortiz to a helicopter and pumping frantically on his chest in effort to revive him. At Harbor-UCLA Medical Center near Torrance, anxious relatives rushed inside. Sheriff’s deputies, some in civilian clothes, embraced one another outside the hospital.

It wasn’t until after the Sheriff’s Department announced Ortiz’s death several hours later that a clearer picture of his death emerged.

Baca, who was attending a law enforcement conference in Kentucky, said in a telephone interview that Ortiz had knocked on the door of a residence and begun talking with a woman who answered. Officers said the gunman approached from behind the woman, reached over the shoulder of another man Ortiz was talking to and shot the deputy point-blank in the face. The suspect fled after the shooting.

“He killed a deputy and then ran like the coward he is,” said an emotional Baca. “This coward is the worst of the worst, and eventually he is going to be caught.”

Baca is returning to Los Angeles today.

Gang enforcement officers, who frequently wear green sheriff’s polo shirts and khaki pants ? as Ortiz was ? “face some of the most dangerous criminals in America,” Baca said. “The deputy may have been checking on gang members’ whereabouts for parole purposes.”

Baca said he knew Ortiz personally and described him as a model deputy who boxed for charity, squaring off against Marines and LAPD officers.

“It is a shocking death for not only the whole department but the public,” the sheriff said. “He was an all-round convincingly nice man who personified the community-based-policing cop.”

The last sheriff’s deputy to be shot to death in the line of duty was Michael R. Arruda, who died June 9, 2004. He was shot accidentally by another deputy during a confrontation with a man who was armed with a pellet gun. The man also died in the incident.

Det. Orpe said Ortiz was a tireless crime fighter and had spent the last five years working the gang detail.

“Jerry loved the job. He was dedicated like nobody else. He came in early and left late. He give his all,” Orpe said. “He died doing what loved to do.”

The detective said that although Ortiz would often lighten the stress of the job with jokes, the deputy was very aware of the dangers they faced each day.

We worked the same station together for about 3 years before he moved on to GET (Gang Enforcement Team). My partner and I were working yesterday when the news came down that a Deputy had been shot and then who it was. We normally get off at 5pm, but when we heard they needed more help at the scene we went down and sat on a containment spot until late last night, then went back all day today.

The suspect

was caught in a bathroom of a local gang crashpad. He had covered himself with wet towels to either throw the K9 off of his scent or to prepare for teargas. Unfortunately he survived our finding him. The last word I heard before leaving this evening was that Jerry had gone to the location to interview a few people. Apparently there was 2 females and 1 male inside. He was asking if there was anyone else inside the location and if it was alright if he had a look inside when the suspect fired throw the crack in the door. Jerry was hit in the head and died instantly. A civilian called 911 at which point the first arriving units saw Jerry down inside the doorway. Not knowing if anyone was inside they began dragging him out while covering the door. One of the Deputies fell somehow and struck his eye, shattering the orbital and his nose. Apparently he lost consiousness so the rescueing Deputies now had 2 guys they needed to get to safety.

They set up a huge containment and thankfully the scumbag was found inside it.

Goodbye my brother.

I will try to get some more posts up soon, but now my desktop computer is acting up…when I go to powerup it goes through its startup cycle but just before windows finishes loading it reboots. I’m fearing the worse but right now could really care less.

UPDATE 6/26/05 0752hrs

Just received a little more information. Apparently the suspect is wanted for attempted murder, Jerry was specifically looking for this guy on the attempted murder case. When he arrived at the complex, which is a known dirtbag complex rampant with gangsters, there was a guy sitting on the stairwell. This guy gets up and scurries away.

Jerry goes to the door and is talking to a female at the door. Jerry notices another guy sitting on the couch at which point he draws his gun and asks the guy to come forward with some ID. The guy gives him ID and Jerry pins the ID to his uniform (we usually slide it under our pen) then he re-holsters. The girl is telling him that there is no one else inside the apartment and he can come in and take a look. It’s unclear if he broke the plain of the doorway but the suspect was behind the opened door and shoots once. The other guy gathers the kids and leaves with the girl. The suspect runs behind the complex into a crashpad 5 houses down where he hides. One person starts CPR on Jerry while a bunch of the gangsters are telling them to let the cop bleed out.

The suspect was found not covered in wet towels but actually inside a full bathtub using a straw to breath through. The K9 dog missed him twice and SEB (our SWAT) found him.

There was great coordination getting the family to the hospital. Our chopper picked up one of the kids, and then another chopper picked up his ex-wife and the other kid when the Montebello copper who was transporting them got stuck in traffic. Orange County Sheriff picked up the extended family from Carlsbad in a chopper and transported them.

The doctor said he died instantly so he did not suffer. Apparently Cardinal Mahoney gave Jerry his last rites to which many of his closest friends were present.

The family is worried about the youngest who is 6 because he does not seem to, or want to, understand that his daddy is gone. They are worried about today since Jerry takes him to church every Sunday. The oldest who is 16 had been holding up well until yesterday, yesterday was a rough day. His new wife hasn’t eaten since Friday, the doctors wanted to give her some medication but she refused.

The viewing will be Wednesday, the funeral will be Thursday in downtown because his regular church is just way too small. His wife will not be allowing the Sheriff nor any of the brass to the podium during the funeral, Jerry would not have wanted any politicans up there and a majority of us who work patrol have no respect for the Sheriff. Only his family and friends will speak at the podium,as it should be.

LAKEWOOD Slowly they arrived. Some in small groups, some alone. A Latino woman and her daughter, a resident who lives nearby, a florist ding a delivery to the slowly growing collection of bouquets, candles and cards.Throughout Saturday morning, people came by the granite memorial wall outside the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station to pay respects to Jerry Ortiz, the deputy killed Friday afternoon while conducting an investigation.

Authorities say Ortiz was assassinated shortly after arriving at a home in Hawaiian Gardens. Ortiz asked a man inside for identification, and Jose Luis Orozco suddenly came from inside the house and shot him, alleged sheriff’s Capt. Ray Peavy.

At the memorial Saturday, Deputy Jeffrey Dirks was silently paying his respects during a lull at the station’s front desk. He said deputies have been touched by the show of support.

“So much of this work is seeing negativity with people,” Dirks said. “Today people are coming down and saying, ‘Hey, we’re with you.” Dirks said that in addition to the flowers and cards, many residents brought food for the deputies and offered condolences.

“This is our community and our family,” Dirks said.

Adriana Olguin, who brought her youngest daughter, Xithzel Payan, to the memorial, sells tamales at the Compton courthouse. She said she tries to show her children positive role models so they will strive to make society better.

Xithzel, a third-grader, said she wants to be a lawyer, as does her older sister, Katherine.

Bonnie Cooper, who lives in Long Beach, said she has been helped by the gang unit in the past.

“It really hits home,” she said.

Local residents Tony Balestracci and Megan Till, whose cousin Tony Till works at the station, stopped by during their bike ride to pay respects.

Till said it scared her that people such as the alleged gunman are on the loose.

Balestracci says he’s grown up in the Long Beach area and is shocked that five deputies assigned to Lakewood have now died.

The polished black granite memorial wall was dedicated in March 2004, to the four deputies assigned to the Lakewood Station who died in the line of duty:

David Powell, Lee Sawyer, Daniel Schneider and Carl Wilson.Flags at the station flew at half-staff Saturday. A black band was stretched across the large Sheriff’s Department shield that adorns the memorial.

By 10 a.m., more than three-dozen bouquets were placed by the wall, with more coming.

Along with the flowers and candles were notes to the slain officer.

One, written in purple Crayon and signed by Tylor, 10, and Zack, 7, read, “My mom says you were an angel on earth. Thank you for protecting my family.”

UPDATE 6/27/05 2210hrs

There will be a rosary/viewing on Wednesday at 6:00pm at the Cathedral downtown. Thursday will be the Funeral at 9am. He will be then interred in ELA. The black & white procession from downtown will be quite large.

UPDATE 6/29 2155hrs

Well, tomorrow is the funeral. Everyone at the station is meeting at 6am to head to the cathedral in the black & whites.

Gonna be a bad day tomorrow.

UPDATE 6/30 1620hrs

Well, it’s over.

I got up at 0445hrs this morning to be at the station by 0530hrs. There I dressed in our long sleeve uniform with tie and all those from the station who were attending the funeral left the station at about 0620hrs. There were about 20-30 guys on Harleys, cops and friends alike of Jerry’s. Jerry’s Harley was put on a trailer with a boxing ring around it. The bike was pulled by a black pickup and then all the harleys followed, then all the black and whites.

We formed up at the cathedral and then attended the mass. Cardinal Mahoney gave a nice mass, Sheriff Baca spoke, then Retired Deputy Gerlach and Deputy Morrow, both Century deputies, spoke. Then Jerry’s new wife’s sister gave probably the most emotional speech of the morning. She talked about how Jerry and his wife were destined to meet each other since they were so much alike. She then spoke about her asking her sister if she knew this was gonna happen, Jerry’s death, would she still have wanted to meet Jerry. Jerry’s widow told her yes.

After the mass my partner and I traveled in our black and white with the rest of the units who followed the casket from the cathedral to the cemetery in ELA. It took about an hour for all the black and whites to get from downtown LA to the cemetery about 6 miles away. CHP closed down all the freeways we traveled so it was just a sea of black and whites with the rotators on.

At the internment the United States flag was presented to Jerry’s wife, then a gun salute followed by taps, and a bagpipe. Finally the missing man formation was flown by Sheriff and other department helicopters.

Here are links to the media broadcasts on the funeral: (I will post more as I find them)

From the various local media outlets:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Colleagues mourned sheriff’s Deputy Jerry Ortiz on Thursday as a diligent street cop and punishing boxer with a memorable smile made brighter by the woman he married just weeks before he was gunned down during anti-gang work.

Sparring partners and fellow Los Angeles County deputies at his funeral Mass shared stories of the intensity with which Ortiz approached both his job on the gang detail and the boxing ring.

“Sparring matches turned to slugfests, and those turned to migraines — for me,” said retired Deputy Gary Gerlach, Ortiz’s partner for years.

Gerlach said he put a fight bell on the dashboard of their patrol car and when Ortiz showed up for work “cloudy” after many rounds in the ring, “I’d ring the bell and tell him to come out fighting. And he always did.”

Sheriff Lee Baca, who took his father to watch Ortiz’s matches, said the 35-year-old deputy “saved countless lives” by helping steer youth away from gangs. He asked the 4,000 people gathered at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels — mostly uniformed law enforcement officers — to learn from Ortiz’s death.

“We have to take on Jerry’s mind-set,” Baca said. “Put on our boxing gloves and fight whatever pain is within ourselves, and fight those who cause pain.”

Whittier Daily News:

LOS ANGELES — The hurried streets of Downtown Los Angeles took pause Thursday as family, friends, onlookers and thousands of law enforcement officers from across Southern California said good-bye to a sheriff’s deputy killed in the line of duty last week.

Services for Deputy Jerry Ortiz, 35, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels attracted a sea of blue, beige and green as colleagues and family remembered the fire in his belly as an officer, and the loving smile that came home every night.

“Jerry did not die in vain,” Cardinal Roger Mahoney said to the roughly 5,000 mourners at the service. “He died making this community what it should be.”

Ortiz, who grew up in El Monte and lived in Diamond Bar with his wife, Chela, was also the father of sons Jeremy, 16, and Jacob, 6.

San Diego Union Tribune:

Ortiz, who had two sons, lived in Diamond Bar and married for the second time about a month ago. Pictures on a memorial card handed out at the service show him atop his Harley-Davidson motorcycle, striking a boxing pose with his son Jeremy, now 16, and beaming next to his wife, Chela.

“After 15 years of knowing him I never thought that smile could get any bigger. But it did, and that was because of you,” Gerlach told the widow, who sat in the front row.

Deputy Travis Morrow, who worked with Ortiz, described a time six years ago when Ortiz was facing discipline and wanted to get the forced time off reduced.

Because he knew Baca through boxing, Ortiz went to see the sheriff at headquarters, catching him near an elevator.

“The sheriff said, ‘There’s nothing I can do,'” Morrow said. Ortiz responded, “That’s baloney. You’re the sheriff you can do whatever you want.”

The boldness of the boxer and Army veteran didn’t faze Baca, Morrow said: “Jerry did his time off.”

Here is a story on the rosary/viewing held last night:

EAST LOS ANGELES The day before he was killed while investigating an attempted murder, Deputy Jerry Ortiz received the good news he’d worked to hear since joining the Sheriff’s Department’s elite anti-gang unit four years earlier.

“I called him into my office and told him he was being promoted to detective,” said Captain Mike Ford, who oversaw Ortiz as head of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Operation Safe Streets. “Now this may be my ego talking, but that’s one of the most prestigious positions, in my opinion, in the department. He was ecstatic.”

The air was thick with grief Wednesday as Ford recounted the story of Ortiz’s pending promotion among the hundreds of co-workers, friends, family members and mourners gathered for an East Los Angeles rosary for the slain deputy, killed Friday by a suspected gang member in Hawaiian Gardens.

His funeral is this morning in Los Angeles.

“Ortiz was an excellent investigator and had wonderful police instincts,” Ford said after departing the Mission-style Catholic chapel where Ortiz’s body lay as mourners passed by. “He had empathy and compassion for the victims of the crimes he was investigating and was determined to make a difference in the community. He was a guy who always wanted the toughest assignments.”

The 70-year-old chapel was packed throughout the day and into the evening as several hundred deputies and police officers from throughout the state joined Ortiz’s large circle of friends and family to view the body of the 35-year-old veteran gang investigator and former Army soldier.

Deputies, faces long with sorrow, embraced weeping family members inside the chapel, while stern-looking clusters of uniformed deputies and suited detectives mingled outside in the late afternoon sun.

Mourners waited in a line that stretched into the parking lot to pay their respects to Ortiz, who was credited this year with helping solve numerous murders in and around Southeast Los Angeles County.

Ortiz leaves behind a wife, Chela, two children, Jeremy and Jacob, parents Luis and Rosa and four siblings.

It was a good service.

Here are some local media footage of the funeral:

[flv:jerryvideo1.flv 400 300]

[flv:jerryvideo2.flv 400 300]

Goodbye Jerry, you will be missed.

UPDATE 6/29 1700hrs

I found this article which askes the question, why was the scumbag who killed Jerry still on the street. Why didn’t he qualify for the 3 strikes law if he had a 15 page rap sheet:

An alleged cop killer who has a 15-page rap sheet of arrests, three felony convictions and numerous parole and probation violations to his name was never eligible for the state’s three-strikes law, according to the Los Angeles district attorney’s office.

Jose Luis Orozco the 27-year-old gang member suspected of shooting Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Jerry Ortiz in the face at an apartment complex in the 12000 block of East 223rd Street, killing the 15-year veteran almost instantly on Friday was well known to sheriff’s deputies working the gang detail in and around Hawaiian Gardens.

And the three-strikes law, passed by voters in 1994 in an effort to stop criminals from committing further crimes, seemed tailor made to keep former convicts like Orozco from repeat offenses by requiring lengthy jail terms, including life terms, after the defendant has already been convicted of a violent or serious felony.

Only 13 months before Ortiz’s slaying, Orozco had been arrested by two sheriff’s deputies at that same apartment complex on 223rd Street after he tried to ditch a loaded gun, then fought bitterly with investigators.

But none of his arrests from his first felony conviction as an adult in 1996 for burglary to last year’s violent struggle with deputies qualified under the state’s three-strikes law.

“He has as many strikes as you or I, which is incredible with that kind of a record,” said Sheriff’s Homicide Capt. Ray Peavy. “That rap sheet that Sheriff Baca showed everyone in the press conference, I’m looking at it now, and I’m on page 15, the last page. There are arrests in Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, Bellflower, Newport Beach, Los Angeles, Norwalk, Cypress, Santa Ana ? the hits just keep on coming.”

Not strikes

None of those arrests appear to have qualified as strikes, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

“A strike has to be either a serious or a violent felony, they’re listed in penal code 11927 and 667.5 lists them, starting from murder all the way down,” said Deputy District Attorney Peter Cagney, who is the lead prosecutor at the Norwalk office which has overseen two of Orozco’s three convictions.

Jane Robinson, spokeswoman for the DA’s office, said Wednesday that none of the charges stemming from Los Angeles County were eligible as strikes, but added that prosecutors are now researching Orozco’s rap sheet in other counties to ensure that nothing was overlooked. It includes arrests in Kern, Orange, San Bernardino and Santa Barbara Counties.

UPDATE 7/1 1830hrs

A scan of a letter written to the local paper has been passed around quite a bit by Deputies. It’s from a civilian and sums up a lot of our frustration.

On Friday, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy Jerry Ortiz was savagely killed by a wild animal. This wild animal comes from a breed called Gang Member and is from the family of Career Criminals. This animal, known by the name Jose Luis Orozco, was captured alive. Most wild animals are killed on sight when they have killed a human being, but this animal’s hunters were professional law enforcement officers.

Why is it I don’t hear the “outrage” from the citizens of Los Angeles County and the politicans from local, state and federal government? The liberal media have reported the event but don’t seem to have an opinion. Can you imagine the outcry if the SWAT team had injured Orozco? The liberal politicians and their friends in the media would want a full investigation into whether Orozco’s rights had been violated.

Who is that politican who likes to be in front of the cameras and talk loud and long when she believes the rights of a member of her party “may” have been violated? Where is her outrage over the savage murder of deputy Ortiz?

Deputy Ortiz was our deputy, yours and mine, and just as he was responsible for our safety, we were responsible for his safety but we failed him. We have permitted liberal politicans, who are soft on criminals, to remain in office. Jose Orozco stopped being a human sometime ago and should have been in a cage. If this had been the case, Ortiz would be alive today and at home with his family.

Our law enforcement officers are not paid to die in the line of duty. They are paid to enforce our laws. At the and of their work day, they like to go home to their families just like you and me. To all of them, I say, thank-you. I cannot put into words the sadness I feel in my heart for deputy Ortiz’s family. All I can say is God bless them.

Tom Appleby
San Pedro

Here is a picture of the Lakewood Station Memorial with all the offerings from the public:

UPDATE 7/3 1055hrs

Received this email recently about a small gift left by a child:

Gary Gomez called to say that his eleven year old step-son, Chris, after hearing about Jerry Ortiz’ death, wanted to give his teddy bear to the Ortiz’ youngest son. Gary brought Chris to the station, where Chris set his teddy bear and some flowers next to the memorial. Chris also wrote a heartfelt letter, which he attached to the teddy bear.

What makes this story all the more touching is the fact that Chris’s father was a police officer in his country of Germany. When Chris was 4 years old, his father was killed in the line of duty. Chris received the teddy bear at that time, and has kept it on his bed ever since as a reminder of the father he lost.

Chris and his mother moved to the United States some time later. His mom re-married to Gary Gomez, and they now live in Bellflower.

When Chris heard about Jerry’s sons, he decided he wanted to give the teddy bear that comforted him for all these years to them, in hopes that it could comfort them in their loss. Gary said that he could not believe that his son would part with this, his most cherished possession.

Following the phone call a Deputy went out and retreived the bear:

After initially getting the information in the above document, I went out and retrieved the bear from the memorial. It is now in the watch commander’s office.

Gary wanted to ensure that the bear was not left out in the elements. He said that if it cannot be given to Jerry Ortiz’ youngest son, that he would like it used to give to some other child in distress. He reiterated the importance of the bear to his son and tearfully expressed his amazement that his son would part with it.

UPDATE 7/6 0700hrs

I’ve put up an update on something related to Jerry here. Just didn’t think it was appropiate to post in on this post.

UPDATE 7/26 1645hrs

The shithead was charged today:

A gang member accused of killing Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Luis Gerardo “Jerry” Ortiz in Hawaiian Gardens on June 24 was charged Tuesday with murder and other counts.

The murder charge against Jose Luis Orozco, a 27-year-old parolee, includes the special circumstance allegations of murder of a peace officer, murder while lying in wait and murder to avoid arrest, which could result in the death penalty.

A decision on whether to seek a death sentence for Orozco if he is convicted will be made as the case moves closer to trial, said District Attorney Steve Cooley.

Orozco also is charged with one count of attempted murder stemming from a shooting four days before the 35-year-old deputy was fatally shot and two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Orozco’s arraignment was postponed Tuesday to Aug. 17. He is set to appear then in Norwalk Superior Court.

Ortiz — a gang enforcement deputy — was investigating the earlier shooting when he was “shot in an ambush from behind an apartment door,” Cooley said.

“As the deputy lay dying, his killer ran away,” the district attorney said. “Orozco was arrested several hours after the shooting. He was found hiding in a house a few doors away.”

The suspected murder weapon, a .38-caliber revolver, was recovered, according to Cooley.

“The complaint specifically charges Orozco with being the person who fatally shot Ortiz in the head with a handgun,” he said.

The attempted murder charge involves a man who was shot in the back while doing yard work at a home in Hawaiian Gardens, according to the district attorney.

Orozco has three prior felony convictions — for auto burglary, possession of a firearm by a felon and resisting an executive officer — and served three terms in state prison, Cooley said.

None of his prior convictions are considered a “strike” under the state’s three-strikes law, the county’s top prosecutor said.

“We could have probably charged (Orozco) within 48 hours of his arrest, and we would have,” Cooley said. “However, in this case we had the luxury of him being a parolee at large … a parole hold was placed on him.

UPDATE 8/3/05 2100hrs

I felt that some of you might want to see the Memorial flyer handed out to those who attended Jerry’s funeral:

Also, I appreciate all the kind comments and the well-wishes for the Ortiz family. Based on the comments section some of the family has found this post and I am sure they are appreciative of these comments. To the Ortiz family, our prayers are with you.

UPDATE 8/10/05 2200hrs

This is a little late but I wanted to put up a portion of the speech Attorney General Alberto Gonzales gave to the Fraternal Order of Police on Aug 1st:

Today, I want to discuss one important aspect of the fight against crime: the expanding danger of violent street gangs and what we at the Department of Justice are doing to help you in this battle.

Many years ago as a young boy I first saw the movie West Side Story. As you may recall, the film romanticized life in competing New York City gangs. In reality there is nothing romantic or heroic about street gangs. And I want to make my point with another story of a cold-blooded killing and a hero in uniform.

Deputy Jerry Ortiz had gone into work early on Friday, June 23rd. He had recently returned from his honeymoon, having been married three weeks.

The 35-year-old deputy had been with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department for 15 years. He went in early, as he often did, in order to get a jump on a street-gang investigation.

Deputy Ortiz was going door-to-door conducting interviews in a gang-plagued neighborhood. At 3 p.m., he had just knocked on the door of a house and as he was checking IDs, someone shot Deputy Ortiz in the head from point-blank range.

As L.A. Sheriff Lee Baca described it, “this was an assassination of a deputy. It was a sudden attack that gave the deputy no chance.”

The alleged gunman is Jose Luiz Orozco-a suspected gang member.

When Sheriff Baca spoke to the press about the murder, he printed out Orozco’s rap sheet: It was five-feet long. At the time of the shooting of Deputy Ortiz, Orozco was out on parole and was wanted on an outstanding warrant for attempted murder. He was arrested cowering in a bathtub at a nearby house.

Deputy Ortiz was a five-year veteran of his department’s anti-gang task force.

His investigation was part of a broader effort to reclaim the small community of Hawaiian Gardens from gang intimidation, drugs sales, and violence.

Deputy Ortiz sacrificed his life to do his duty.

None of us in this room wants another fellow officer or his or her family to face the tragedy of Deputy Ortiz.

At the Department of Justice, we are committed to working with federal, state, and local officials to stop the wave of gang violence that led to his murder.

According to the FBI’s 2005 National Gang Threat Assessment, gang membership-especially Hispanic gang membership-is on the rise.

Cities and regions that were once untouched by gangs are now facing the dangers of drugs and violence that flow from gang activity.

We also know that gangs associate with organized crime entities-such as Mexican drug organizations, Asian criminal groups, and Russian mafia. These criminal enterprises often use gangs to conduct low-level criminal activities, enforce territorial boundaries, and facilitate their drug-trafficking networks.

The speech is quite long and you can read the whole thing at the link I gave but I wanted to highlight his reference to Jerry. His words are powerful but in the end, it is still our criminal justice system that is letting us down. These gangsters should never see the light of day but they will continue to release them with a slap on the wrist. Then they wonder what went so wrong.

UPDATE 8/17 1645hrs

This waste of oxygen has pleaded innocent to executing Jerry:

NORWALK A gang member accused of shooting Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Luis Gerardo “Jerry” Ortiz in the head in an ambush-style attack in Hawaiian Gardens pleaded innocent today to murder and other charges.

Jose Luis Orozco, a 27-year-old parolee who has been jailed without bail since his arrest a few hours after Ortiz was shot to death June 24, wore orange jail clothes and was shackled when he appeared in Norwalk Superior Court.

Defense attorney Carole L. Telfer entered the plea on Orozco’s behalf.

Judge Cynthia Rayvis ordered Orozco to return to court Sept. 8, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there are grounds to proceed to trial.

The murder charge against Orozco includes the special circumstance allegations of murder of a peace officer, murder while lying in wait and murder to avoid arrest, which could carry a potential death sentence.

Prosecutors will decide whether to seek the death penalty as the case moves closer to trial.

Orozco also faces one count of attempted murder stemming from a shooting four days before the 35-year-old deputy was slain, and two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon.

The attempted murder victim was shot in the back while doing yard work at a home in Hawaiian Gardens, authorities said.

Ortiz, a gang enforcement deputy at the sheriff’s Lakewood station, was investigating that attack when he was “shot in an ambush from behind an apartment door,” District Attorney Steve Cooley said last month.

“As the deputy lay dying, his killer ran away,” Cooley said. “He was found hiding in a house a few doors away.”

The suspected murder weapon, a .38-caliber revolver, was recovered, according to the district attorney.

Orozco has three prior felony convictions for auto burglary, possession of a firearm by a felon and resisting an executive officer and served three terms in state prison, Cooley said.

UPDATE 9/9/05 1330hrs

The scumbag gets a new lawyer:<

A gang member suspected of killing Sheriff’s Deputy Jerry Ortiz was appointed a new attorney during a court hearing Thursday during which prosecutors indicated they are still attempting to place potential witnesses in the witness protection program.

Jose Luis Orozco, 27, is being held without bail in connection with the June 24 slaying of gang detective Ortiz, who was shot in the face in Hawaiian Gardens while investigating an earlier gang-related shooting. Orozco, a parolee and Hawaiian Gardens gang member, was arrested a few hours after the shooting. His first attorney, Public Defender Carole Telfer, asked Thursday to be removed from the case because of an unspecified “conflict of interest’ with her office.

Stewart Glovin, of the Los Angeles County public defender’s office, declined to elaborate, citing client confidentiality.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Philip H. Hickok dismissed Telfer from the case and appointed attorney Stanley Perlo of Los Angeles to defend Orozco, who is facing charges of capital murder, attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

At a court hearing Aug. 18, Telfer had argued that the district attorney’s office and sheriff’s department were moving unusually slowly in handing over discovery documents against her client, leaving her ill-prepared to defend him in court.

Deputy District Attorney Lowell Anger said his office had turned over more than 1,500 pages of documents, 50 audio recordings, photographs and other evidence to Orozco’s defense lawyers, but needed time to relocate potential witnesses before revealing the rest of the case to Orozco’s attorneys for review.

“A few (witnesses) have moved already and a couple are dragging their feet,’ Anger told Judge Hickok. “Obviously, the safety of our witnesses is of paramount concern.’

Orozco’s next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 30.

Plus the Dodgers plan on dedicating the first pitch at their game on Sept 11th to Jerry:

The first pitch ceremony will pay tribute to L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Jerry Ortiz, who lost his life in the line of duty earlier this year. Ortiz’s sons, Jeremy, 16, and Jacob, 6, will participate.

UPDATE Nov 5th, 2005

LAKEWOOD A year ago, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Jerry Ortiz received the city’s Award of Valor, an honor he earned for catching a suspected carjacker and gang member who fired at his partner.

On Thursday, Ortiz’s family picked up the Distinguished Service Award for Ortiz, whose life was cut short last June when a gunman fatally shot him.

“(God) is taking good care of my dad,” Ortiz’s son, Jeremy, said as he gripped the award against his chest.

Ortiz’s absence from the 2005 Award of Valor Luncheon further drove home the dangers encountered daily by public safety service members, officials said.

“Deputy Jerry Ortiz was honored on this stage just one year ago for his bravery and devotion to duty,” Mayor Joe Esquivel said. “Today, we remember him as one who gave his life doing what he loved. And like those heroes who have died in service to Lakewood before him ? Jerry inspires the rest of us to be noble and selfless and courageous.”

The following are prepared remarks for Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales at the Latino Leaders Luncheon:

[…]This past weekend, I spoke to a group of Latino law enforcement officers. I told them a story about a veteran Deputy from the Los Angeles Police Department’s anti-gang unit. Deputy Ortiz went to work early on Friday, June 23rd, as he often did, in order to get a jump on a street-gang investigation. The 35-year-old deputy had been with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department for 15 years, was a five-year veteran of his department’s anti-gang task force, and had just returned from his honeymoon.

Deputy Ortiz was going door-to-door conducting interviews in a gang-plagued neighborhood. At 3 p.m., he knocked on the door of a house and was checking IDs when someone shot him in the head from point-blank range.

As L.A. Sheriff Lee Baca described it, “this was an assassination of a deputy. It was a sudden attack that gave the deputy no chance.”

The alleged gunman is Jose Luiz Orozco-a suspected gang member. When Sheriff Baca spoke to the press about the murder, he printed out Orozco’s rap sheet: It was five-feet long.

The investigation Deputy Ortiz was conducting on the day he died was part of a broader effort to reclaim the small community of Hawaiian Gardens from gang intimidation, drug sales, and violence.

Deputy Ortiz sacrificed his life to do his duty. And it struck me, in recounting this story, that everyone involved was Hispanic. A brave Hispanic Deputy. A positive Hispanic leader in Sheriff Baca. And, unfortunately, a young Hispanic already lost to the dangerous life of guns, drugs, and gangs.

It’s a telling example — both of the progress we’ve made and the long distance we have yet to travel.

Gangs are a growing problem for the Hispanic community. Gangs wipe out the dreams of our children and cost us future leaders. I have directed my U.S. Attorneys to work with partners at the federal, State, and local levels — to stop the spread of gangs and curb the rampant violence from gang activity.

UPDATE Nov 11th, 2005

A boat was christened Tuesday in Marina del Rey in honor of the slain deputy and Diamond Bar resident.

“Jerry Ortiz was an individual who had a great passion for public safety,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca. “He was a consummate professional and he was also a very loving son, husband and father.”

Ortiz was killed June 24 in a shooting in Hawaiian Gardens. The gang detective was looking for Jose Luis Orozco, 27, a known gang member. When Ortiz knocked on a door during a search, Orozco allegedly came out and shot the deputy in the face.

Dozens of deputies, along with cops from Long Beach and county firefighters, joined Ortiz’s family at the Marina del Rey Sheriff’s Station to christen the $450,000 boat.

“It means a lot to the family,” said Mike Ortiz, the slain deputy’s brother. “It’s a great honor, he deserves every bit of it.”

Chela Ortiz, the deputy’s wife of only three weeks, declined to comment. Chela, Mike and Ortiz’s mother, Rosa, toured the boat and paused to take pictures.

The boat is a powerful, high-tech crime-fighting and rescue tool, said sheriff’s Lt. Greg Nelson.

The “Jerry Ortiz” can reach 40 knots per hour, stop on a dime and even move sideways. It features twin turbo diesel engines cranking out more than 300 horsepower each. It is also equipped with fire hoses and manned by two emergency medical technician-trained deputies.

The boat will see service not only in Marina del Rey, where more than 1 million visitors enjoy the waters every year, but along the entire Los Angeles County coastline from Long Beach to the Ventura County border.

“Today is a day for us to feel good,” Baca said. “Because Jerry Ortiz is back on patrol.”

Orozco will be in Norwalk Superior Court on Dec. 2 for the setting of a preliminary hearing date.

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