A veteran California police officer was killed on Monday morning after a gang member gunned him down during a routine traffic stop in Whittier. Family, co-workers and friends honored the fallen officer on a Tuesday with a candlelight vigil.
Officer Keith Wayne Boyer was responding to a simple traffic incident when he was fatally shot. Unaware that they were approaching a stolen car driven by a man who had just killed his cousin, Boyer and his partner, Officer Patrick Hazel, approached the man. As they patted him down for weapons, the suspect pulled out a gun and began shooting. Boyer, shot several times, died. Hazel was injured but expected to survive.
Hundreds of people gathered together to honor Officer Boyer during the candlelight vigil. Michelle Ortiz, who worked alongside Boyer at Le Serna High School from 2008 until 2012, was shocked and saddened by the tragic loss.
Hundreds show up outside Whittier Police Dept to honor fallen officer Keith Boyer pic.twitter.com/SNztChxXIM
— Chip Yost (@ChipYost) February 21, 2017
“He always seemed to bring positivity to our campus and made us all laugh and smile.”
While Boyer’s parents sat silently, hand-in-hand at the vigil, other were more vocal about the loss. Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper, who was friends with Boyer for more than 25 years, fought tears while opening up about the tragedy.
“You don’t know how hard this is. Keith Boyer – outstanding person. God rest in peace. He gave his heart and soul for this community.”
— David Wordsmith (@WordSmithGuy) February 21, 2017
Boyer left behind two adult children. After serving on the Whittier Police force for over 25 years, he had planned to retire soon, before his plans were cut short. He was known as “the best of the best” in law enforcement.
[Feature Photo: Whittier Police Department]