A sheriff's deputy was shot to death Monday by a man he stopped for a traffic violation in Irwindale, investigators said.
Deputy David March, 33, a seven-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department who lived with his wife and stepdaughter in Santa Clarita, was pronounced dead at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena.
Investigators said the man who shot him fled in a dirty black 1989 Nissan sedan. The killer, who remained at large Monday night, was described as Latino, in his 20s, about 5-foot-7, with short hair and a mustache. The California license number of the car is 4BCZ512.
The license plate led police to another man, who was arrested at an apartment complex in Duarte a few hours after the shooting.
Deputies said that the man's connection with the shooting, if any, was not clear, but that they did not think he was the gunman.
March, who was assigned to the Temple City station, was on routine patrol in the Monrovia area about 10:30 a.m. when he began following the car, which may have contained as many as three people, for an undisclosed traffic violation, investigators said.
After March pulled the car over on Live Oak Avenue just east of Peck Road, the driver got out, Deputy Rich Pena said.
The driver "met the deputy halfway between the patrol car and [his] vehicle," Pena said. "A confrontation ensued." The driver drew a gun, fired and fled.
Detectives said March was shot several times.
Dan Watkins, 49, an engineer at the Sprague Ready Mix concrete plant across the street, said he heard five shots. He dashed to Live Oak to find March sprawled on the pavement, his head resting against the curb.
"There was a lot of blood," Watkins said.
Watkins said a truck driver at the plant ran to the patrol car, grabbed the radio microphone and broadcast: "A deputy's been shot!"
Patrol cars responded quickly, Watkins said.
One of the arriving officers gave March mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, he said, but it was no use.
The officer was so frustrated "that he got up and kicked his car," Watkins said.
On the tidy cul-de-sac of recently built homes where March lived with his wife and her 13-year-old daughter, neighbors said they had felt more secure because he lived there.
"He loved his work, said Judy Miller, who lives across the street with her husband. "He wouldn't have done anything else."
"He got along with everybody," said Johnny Borrelli, 17. "But he must have been a hard-working guy, because we never saw much of him."
The mood was somber Monday afternoon at the Temple City station. Deputies talked quietly among themselves, and some wiped away tears.
Deputy Sonia Parra said that March, who had married recently, "was an outstanding deputy."
Deputies always go to work knowing the risks. "I'm sure he had plans for tonight," she said.
Times staff writer Richard Fausset contributed to this report.