Los Angeles County officials have established a $20,000 reward for information regarding the fatal shooting of a Huntington Park police officer that has gone unsolved for more than five decades.
Investigators hope the reward, which the county Board of Supervisors authorized Tuesday, will bring attention to the case and encourage witnesses or those who might know the identity of the shooter to come forward.
“The murder of Officer Robert Keller continues to be painful for the Huntington Park community and his family,” Supervisor Janice Hahn said in a statement.
Hahn went on to say that she, as well as the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, hopes to solve the case and provide some sense of closure for Keller’s family.
On Oct. 5, 1967, Keller responded to an emergency call prompted by a silent burglary alarm at a dress shop called the Wonder Shop on Pacific Boulevard, according to a Huntington Park Police Department memorial page.
Keller and a security officer from the alarm company met outside and entered the store together. As they searched the business, a person — who had apparently entered through a skylight — emerged from a hiding place and opened fire, according to the memorial page.
Keller and the intruder exchanged approximately 12 rounds, authorities said. Keller was shot in the chest during the gunfight and later died from his injuries.
The shooter ran from the store, leaving behind a trail of blood indicating a potential gunshot wound.
The shooter was never identified “despite an intense manhunt” that included homicide detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The case remains unsolved, though homicide detectives continue to investigate, according to Board of Supervisors agenda documents.
Keller was a U.S. Navy veteran and had been a member of the Huntington Park Police Department for one year, according to his memorial page.
Anyone with information is asked to call sheriff’s homicide Lt. Joseph Purcell at (323) 890-5565. Tips can be made anonymously online at lacrimestoppers.org or by phone at (800) 222-8477.
In a statement, Huntington Park Mayor Marilyn Sanabria thanked the Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff’s Department for the continued support and for committing additional resources to “unravel this infamous crime.”