Los Angeles County Sheriff: Off-Duty deputy shot in head dies

California

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy shot in the head while off duty at a Jack in the Box has died, the sheriff said.

Joseph Gilbert Solano was shot while at the counter of a Jack in the Box restaurant at 2531 W. Valley Blvd. in Alhambra around 5:45 p.m. Monday. Sheriff’s officials believe it was a random attack.

“In his passing there’s always hope heroes are never forgotten,” said Sheriff Alex Villanueva, wearing a mourning band on his badge.

His son had a hard time keeping his composure while talking at the podium in front of the media.

“Unfortunately, we lost him,” he said through tears. “He was a really good dad.”

Solano, 50, is a 13-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva described Solano as someone who was always willing to help others before himself.

The man suspected in the shooting, identified as Rhett McKenzie Nelson, 30, of Utah, was arrested Tuesday after a short police chase in Long Beach.

Villanueva said that investigators believe he is the sole suspect and questioned why it happen, calling it brazen and senseless. Solano was alerted in the fast food restaurant that someone was following him.

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