Home / US / Los Angeles County deputy shot of Utah man in off-duty attack dies

Los Angeles County deputy shot of Utah man in off-duty attack dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) – A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy who was shot in an off-duty attack on a fast-food restaurant died Wednesday, the sheriff announced.

Joseph Gilbert Solano, who had been on life support, died Wednesday afternoon, Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

Medical staff worked around the clock for two days "trying to make a miracle but unfortunately it did not," he said.

A man entered a Jack in the box in the Alhambra at the Alhambra on Monday and shot Solano in his head as he waited for his order at the counter.

Solano was out of uniform and there is no indication that the gunman knew he was an alternate, Villanueva said.

"Deputy warned in the restaurant that someone was following him and that was when he turned to confront it and that was when the shot happened," said the sheriff. "But a motive or justification from the suspect, that's a million dollar issue."

Solan's son, girlfriend, mother and other family members were at the hospital news conference.

"He was a really good dad," said his crying son, Matthew Solano. "Keep praying for him and my family, please."

Rhett Nelson, 30, St. George, Utah, was arrested on Tuesday with suspicion of killing after calling his father in Utah from a Long Beach church to say he had killed someone.

Nelson family has said he suffers from mental illness and an opiate abuse. It was not immediately known if he had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.

Investigators said Nelson was also suspected of shooting a 30-year-old man standing on a Los Angeles street about an hour before Solano was killed.

Meanwhile, the San Diego Police Department, San Diego County Sheriff Department and Carlsbad Police The Department issued a press release Wednesday saying that Nelson is being investigated in connection with a series of five armed robes of convenience stores that occurred in the area June 7 to Sunday.

In each robbery, the suspect was with a gun and demanded money, release was indicated. The mistakes occurred in San Diego, Lemon Grove and Carlsbad.

Before the possible string of crimes began, Nelson contacted family in St. The George police on May 27 and said he had left his Utah home "for no reason" with a gun but they did not think he was suicidal or a danger to anyone else, Captain Mike Giles said.

"He made a statement to them or somehow communicated that he wanted to do it himself or die," Giles said. They formally reported that he was missing the next day and said they thought the gun was for self-defense. It was not immediately known who owned the weapon.

Nelson has a history of mental illness and a history of opiate abuse, although he had been clean for about six months, according to statements by his father Bradley Nelson. The family is "devastated by words" by the attacks and cooperates with authorities.

"We think we did everything to help Rhett and take home safely without harming him or others, but despite our best efforts, we couldn't find him before this horrible act," the statement said.

On June 4, Nelson called his family from Rancho Santa Margarita in Orange County, Giles said. They still thought he was safe and the police removed him from a missing personal database the next day.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department released Nelson's booking photo as part of an attempt to seek additional victims. Murder investigators believe he may have been involved in other crimes in California.

Giles said no recent offenses with Nelson have been reported to St. George police.

Salt Lake Tribune reported that Nelson did not have a violent criminal history in Utah but had previously pleaded guilty to driving a "measurable amount" of a controlled substance in his body and guilty of committing an offense.

The Los Angeles authorities recovered a gun from Nelson's car. It was not immediately clear if there were firearms from Utah.

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