ALHAMBRA (AP) — Authorities have arrested a Utah man on suspicion of shooting an off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy.
Long Beach police arrested 30-year-old Rhett Nelson of St. George, Utah, on Tuesday and turned him over to sheriff’s investigators.
Authorities believe he’s the man who walked up and shot Deputy Joseph Gilbert Solano in the head on Monday as he stood at the counter of a Jack in the Box in suburban Alhambra.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva says Solano is on life support. Authorities say Solano wasn’t in uniform and the attack appears to be random and unprovoked.
L.A. police are trying to determine whether Nelson also drove up and killed another man in that city less than an hour earlier in another apparently random shooting.
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department released photos from surveillance video showing the man around the time of the shooting. Another photo shows him after he changed his clothes in a nearby neighborhood.
Investigators say Solano was waiting for an order at a Jack in the Box when the man shot him in the head with a handgun, then drove away in a Kia Sorento SUV.
Solano was in civilian clothes and had nothing to outwardly indicate he was a law enforcement officer.