California Attorney General Valor Award Presented to Detective Armando Arevalo, Detective Gerardo Magos, and Detective Grant Roth, Operation Safe Streets Bureau, Century Station Team, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

On November 16, 2012, at approximately 9:30 p.m., Detectives Arevalo, Magos and Roth were patrolling the Florence/Firestone area of Los Angeles County. As they drove westbound on 81st Street, they noticed a group of five to seven male gang members walking near the corner of Parmelee Avenue. The detectives stopped their vehicle, and as they opened their doors to contact them, the gang members immediately ran in different directions, with multiple suspects retrieving handguns from their waistbands.

Approximately four of the suspects instantly fired at the detectives from multiple directions and Detective Magos was struck in the abdomen. Detective Arevalo attempted to exit the rear passenger door but was forced back into the rear seat because of flying glass and multiple bullet strikes to their vehicle. Detective Roth returned fire at the suspects, while Detective Magos fired through the front windshield at a suspect in front of their vehicle.

The detectives were trapped inside their vehicle during the exchange of gunfire. Detective Magos shouted several times that he was hit by gunfire and noticed that Detective Roth was attempting to clear a stovepipe jam from his pistol.

Detective Magos leaned over and across the top of Detective Roth and fired several rounds at the suspects in an attempt to shield Detective Roth from gunfire. This fearless act prevented the assailants from advancing on the vehicle and protected Roth long enough for him to clear his jammed weapon and re-engage the suspects. Detective Roth then shouted for Detective Magos to “floor it” to escape the kill zone. As they sped away, the suspects continued to fire at them, striking their vehicle again multiple times.

Fearing Detective Arevalo was wounded or dead in the backseat, they pulled over a short distance away to check on him and realized he was not wounded. As they exited their vehicle and scanned the area for suspects, they saw the gang members charging toward them on foot. All three detectives fired at them, which successfully repelled the attack and sent them into hiding.

Detective Magos was transported to a hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery and survived. Responding deputies searched the area, arrested four of the suspects, and recovered their handguns. They were charged with attempt murder on a police officer and the criminal case is still pending.

Throughout the gun battle, the detectives’ actions were heroic and nothing short of selfless. Their combined efforts and will to survive resulted in the preservation of their own lives and that of their partners.

**** About the Attorney General's Valor Award: California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris on July 25, 2013, convened law enforcement leaders from Los Angeles and Orange counties for a regional meeting to discuss priorities and share information.
As part of the meeting at LAPD HQ, Attorney General Harris presented commendation and valor awards to peace officers and citizens nominated for their efforts to protect public safety in 2012

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Leroy D. Baca, Sheriff
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

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