DOWNEY, California -- A Los Angeles-area police officer was shot to death in his department's parking lot Wednesday night, and authorities are interviewing several people that have been detained in the case, police said. Downey police Officer Ricardo "Ricky" Galvez was killed when two men shot into his personal car after Galvez drove into the Downey Police Department's lot about 11 p.m. PT, police said.
"It appears that this officer was targeted," Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Carina told reporters Thursday.
Investigators did not know why Galvez, a 5-year veteran of the police department and a U.S. Marine, would have been targeted, or if there was a confrontation between him and the gunmen prior to the shooting, KTLA reported. A patrol officer heard the gunfire and pursued the suspected gunmen, believed to be two men, Carina said.
Galvez was described as a tremendous young man who loved serving the residents of Downey.
"His smile was infectious and his professionalism was always on display,” Downey Chief Carl Charles said.
Downey, a city of roughly 114,000 people, is about 10 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
The CNN Wire contributed to this report.