Family members, friends and co-workers were among those at a memorial service Thursday to remember a Pomona SWAT officer who was shot and killed last month during an anti-gang operation.
Officer Shaun Diamond, a 45-year-old, was struck by gunfire as he and his colleagues served a search warrant in an outlaw motorcycle gang investigation Oct. 28 at a home in San Gabriel. Diamond later died at a hospital.
The 16-year veteran of law enforcement leaves behind a wife and two children.
The memorial service was at Ontario's Citizens Business Bank Arena, 4000 Ontario Center Parkway. Representatives from several California law enforcement agencies, Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris attended the memorial service.
Colleagues who spoke at the service remembered Diamond as a "student of life" who could fix anything with wheels and an engine. He had a hard exterior and was described as guarded, but Diamond was always the first to volunteer when it was time to show children what kinds of equipment is in a SWAT vehicle. Diamond was also jokingly described as being "as cuddly as a porcupine."
Thursday's funeral procession, including fire and SWAT vehicles, traveled through downtown Pomona. He was well known in Pomona's downtown area, where ribbons were tied around trees in memory of the slain officer.
Diamond was described by family members and colleagues as someone who could "take care of business."
"Many community members think of Shaun as the SWAT team officer who staffed the SWAT booth during the department's open house," Pomona Police Chief Paul Capraro said. "I stood and watched Shaun while he interacted with children who came by his booth to see the really cool SWAT toys. He was always in the teaching mode when he spoke to the children, instructing them on how to safely deal with the variety of issues that they may encounter. He was stern, compassionate and fatherly with each and every one of them."
He patrolled the downtown community for about eight years, working as a SWAT team member and field training officer. Business owners came to known Diamond as both a kind man and protector.
"The merchants saw both Officer Diamonds," business owner Carolyn Hemming said. "They saw the one who was very friendly and helped the merchants and people, then they saw the officer Diamond who kept us safe."
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He was just as devoted to his family as he was to his job, passing up scholarships to look after his daughter when he was in high school, and later donating his kidney to save his son's life.
Diamond's daughter, Margo, also spoke at the memorial.
"We grew up with him, we were very connected with him," Margo Diamond said. "We knew him so well, the good things and the not so good things, the things that made him a complicated man. We loved him wholly and that's the definition of true love, knowing someone inside and out and loving the hell out of them anyway.
"A lot of people have said that (Diamond's son) Kelly and I remind them of Shaun so vividly that it's like he still here. And he is, he's in our hearts."
She said as she has spoken at events following her father's death, she can hear her father's words coming out of her mouth.
"It's not the same as having him here, but it'll have to do for now," she said. "So if you miss my dad, come talk to us, because he's right here."
His daughter also said her father had died doing what he loved.
"My dad did his dream job every day and I know that he had, or would have, no regrets," Margo Diamond said.
The suspect in the case, 36-year-old David Martinez, faces capital murder charges. Arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 13.
Diamond was shot in the back of the head almost immediately after entering the residence Oct. 28, according to investigators. Pomona officers did not return fire because the suspect’s father was in the line of fire, officials said.
Martinez, who was the target of the warrant, was taken into custody.
The Pomona Police Officers' Association will be accepting donations on behalf of Diamond's family.
Pomona Police Officers' Association
174 W. McKinley Ave.
Pomona, CA 91767