Erick Casillas has always wanted to be a police officer. On Friday, the Gardena Police Department made the 8-year-old's dreams come true. NBC4 was there as they delivered some holiday magic to the boy's home. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Gardena for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013.
After a more than year-long battle with a terminal illness, 8-year-old Erick Casillas of Gardena has died.
Erick died early Monday with his family by his side, according to a release by the Gardena Police Department.
Gardena Police surprised Erick last month at his home and gave him the title of “honorary officer” after they heard he wanted to be a police officer one day.
In his role as “honorary officer,” Gardena Police gave Erick, seen below, a junior police uniform and took him on a police ride-along.
"During the short time we got to know Erick and his family, he touched the hearts of the members of the Gardena Police Department very deeply. He will forever be a part of our police family," Chief Edward Medrano said in a statement.
In late 2012, Erick was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. NBC4 reported last month that he only had a few days to live.
"On behalf of the men and women of the Gardena Police Department, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the Casillas family," Medrano said.
Funeral arrangements are still pending. Anyone wishing to donate can visit www.juniorfoundation.org or make a deposit into a special account set up by the family at Chase Bank under the name Erick Casillas or Ana Erica Barragan.