DOWNEY, Calif. (KABC) -- As the search for a suspect continues, police have now identified the off-duty Monterey Park police officer who was shot and killed in a parking lot in Downey.
Gardiel Solorio, 26, was killed Monday in the lot at 12070 Lakewood Boulevard, in front of a busy gym at the shopping center, police said.
Responding officers found Solorio suffering from gunshot wounds, and paramedics declared him dead at the scene.
"He really wanted to make an impact on the community," said Monterey Park Police Chief Kelly Gordon during a news conference on Tuesday. "His classmates shared that Officer Solorio had all the characteristics of a great officer. He was humble, dedicated, selfless and hardworking, but even a better person."
Solorio grew up in Bell Gardens, according to Gordon.
He attended California State University, Los Angeles where he received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.
The 26-year-old had just graduated from the police academy in July. Solorio is survived by his parents, brothers, sisters and fiancée.
"His family and friends described him as tough as nails but a kid at heart," said Gordon.
WATCH | Police give updates on fatal shooting of off-duty officer in Downey
Meanwhile, police have remained tight-lipped about the ongoing investigation during Tuesday's news conference. They said they are following several active leads.
"The investigation is rapidly evolving and unfortunately, I cannot share what leads we are currently following up on as we do not want to compromise the investigation," said Capt. Scott Loughner with the Downey Police Department.
Anyone with information is urged to contact police.