VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) --Three years ago, 28-year-old Luis Avilez shot and injured two Visalia police officers as he sat in the closet of a home he was hiding in.
Last year, he slashed his cell mate at the Tulare County Jail. Today, Avilez was sentenced to 82 years to life in state prison for his crimes.
"Hopefully, he won't see a parole board," said Tulare County Assistant District Attorney David Alavezos.
Alavezos has been on the case since the start. During the trial, he says the defense tried to argue that Avilez wanted to commit suicide by cop, but Alavezos never believed that to be true.
"He was riding around with another gang member with a gun, long before he saw the officers and when he started running from the officers, he wasn't sitting there pointing the gun at himself," Alavezos said.
Avilez shot and injured two experienced Visalia police gang officers as they tried to arrest him inside a house he was hiding in on Stover Street.
It all started when Avilez ditched his car and tried to run away from the officers after they spotted what they believed to be suspicious behavior.
The shootings shook the department and the surrounding Visalia community.
"When it happens against police officers or sheriff's deputies who serve as the guardians of our community, I think that's especially tragic and a true breakdown in society," said Visalia Police Chief Jason Salazar.
One of the officers who was shot was at Thursday's sentencing. He told Avilez he harbored no ill will against him. He said he accepted what had happened, but also spoke of the immeasurable pain their families have experienced.
Chief Salazar says both of the officers have incredible character and still fight crime in the special enforcement bureau. And while what happened three years ago was a real reminder of the dangers all officers face, Salazar says their response has been and always will be addressing crime and building trust with the community.
"We're stronger, we continue to move on and the officers are doing well, and we'll continue to do our job," Salazar said.