California gang member charged with killing police officer

Updated at: 03/01/2017 7:57 PM

Photo: AP

(AP) LOS ANGELES - LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California gang member who had recently been released from jail has been charged with killing a police officer and his own cousin.

Michael Mejia was charged Wednesday with murder with special circumstances, making him eligible for the death penalty. He's also charged with attempted murder, carjacking and possession of a firearm by a felon.

It's unclear whether he has a lawyer.

Prosecutors say the 26-year-old Mejia shot and killed his cousin in East Los Angeles on Feb. 20, took his car and later crashed it into two other vehicles in neighboring Whittier.

When police arrived, prosecutors say Mejia pulled a gun.

Whittier Officer Keith Boyer was killed. Officer Patrick Hazell and Mejia were wounded in the shootout.

Mejia, a convicted robber, had been jailed for probation violations but freed about a week earlier.

(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)