An off-duty Pasadena police officer was shot and killed at an ex-girlfriend's house in Palmdale early Monday morning during a fight with one of her friends, said Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators.
The officer, 40-year-old Corneal Howard Milloy of Azusa, was the father of three daughters, ages 3, 12 and 21, and had been with the Pasadena Police Department for 12 years, according to family and friends. Milloy, who worked in the Patrol Division, had received numerous citizen and department commendations, Police Lt. Rick Sandoval said.
"He was a fun guy to work with," he said. "This is a great loss for the department."
Authorities arrested Marcus Leron Powell, 27, of Los Angeles on suspicion of murder. He was being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
The shooting occurred about 6:20 a.m. during a domestic dispute at a house in the 40300 block of Castana Lane in Palmdale.
Milloy was arguing with his former girlfriend when Powell tried to intervene, sheriff's detectives said. What triggered the violence is unclear but investigators say Milloy was shot at least once and Powell fled. Powell was later found at his apartment in Los Angeles, where he surrendered to police.
Sheriff's investigators did not release the name of the former girlfriend.
In Azusa, Milloy's sister, Ruth Perry, one of his eight siblings, had a difficult time comprehending his death.
"I don't believe it," said Perry, who had been staying with her brother. "It's a shock that I can't describe."
She said Milloy grew up in Pasadena and aspired to be a police officer. He graduated from Pasadena High School and attended college in Iowa. He was an athlete who excelled at the Police Olympics, where he played football and ran track. Most recently, he coached a girls softball team in Pasadena and took up golf.
Police Chief Bernard Melekian said Milloy was the first Pasadena officer slain since 1969.
"This loss is a tragic one for us," Melekian said. "The officer was well-respected within the department and well-liked by the community."
Officials said the department's 350 employees were informed by telephone about Milloy's death. Crisis counselors and a chaplain also were called in to help employees cope with the loss.
The department also rallied around the victim's family. "We want to make sure the family is taken care of and assist them in any way possible," Sandoval said.