The car belonging to a Los Angeles Police Department officer wanted as a person of interest in a homicide was found Sunday in Pomona.
A Volkswagen Jetta belonging to rookie LAPD Officer Henry Solis, 27, a Pomona resident, was found a few blocks from where Friday morning’s fatal shooting occurred.
Authorities are continuing to search for Solis in connection with the death of Salome Rodriguez Jr., 23, of Ontario.
Both Rodriguez and Solis had gone to Vive Tequila Lounge and Nightclub in downtown Pomona, which remained opened after 2 a.m., said Lt. Ronald McDonald, of the Pomona Police Department.
An altercation occurred sometime after both had left the nightclub, he said. It was unclear what precipitated the brawl or exactly what happened afterward, McDonald said.
One law enforcement source confirmed to The Times that Rodriguez was shot next to a restaurant on Third and Main streets, then ran bleeding for more than a block before he collapsed in a parking lot under a dogwood tree.
Solis’ car was found nearby, at the corner of Monterey and Main streets, at 1 p.m. Sunday, police said.
Solis’ family is cooperating with police, and the LAPD has provided assistance to help locate him. It’s unknown whether Solis and Rodriguez knew each other before.
“He was a good officer, as far as we know,” McDonald said of Solis. “Whatever happened, happened.”
A health professional who treated Rodriguez but was not authorized to speak publicly about the incident said he was struck at least five times, twice in the abdomen, twice in the left leg, and once in the lower neck.
“The shots were on point,” the source said. The shooter “did a good job.”
Solis failed to report for duty Saturday at the Devonshire Division in the San Fernando Valley, where he had been assigned as a probationary officer since December. Los Angeles police said they still have not made contact with Solis and don’t know his whereabouts.
Solis had apparently generated no complaints and had “no disciplinary issues” since joining the LAPD, Cmdr. Andrew Smith told The Times. The LAPD is assisting Pomona officials, Smith said.
Solis is described as 5 feet 9 and 185 pounds. Anyone with information was asked to call Pomona police at (909) 620-2085.
On Sunday, friends and relatives of Rodriguez stopped by a curbside memorial in downtown Pomona to remember the young man.
“I never once saw him mad, never saw him fight or get aggressive with anyone,” said Jessica Conde, 25, of Ontario. She had known Rodriguez for a few years; her husband, Luis, worked with Rodriguez when both made deliveries for Macy’s. “He was very easy to get along with.”
The memorial was set up near the intersection of Third and Gordon streets and included flowers, candles and a picture of Rodriguez in a Dodgers cap and jacket.
Marta Campa, 33, also of Ontario, said Rodriguez, a friend for the last five years, was happy and fun-loving, occasionally working as a DJ at friends’ parties.
“He was a nice guy — never in trouble or with gang members,” Campa added.