A phalanx of Pomona police officers stood shoulder to shoulder outside a school for a special assignment on Wednesday -- escorting the son of an officer who was killed in the line of duty to his first day of kindergarten.
Pomona police officers were on hand to make sure Greggorio Casillas, the son of Officer Greggory Casillas, got a warm sendoff to Citrus Elementary School in Upland.
Gerggorio, wearing his trusty backpack and clutching his mother's hand, beamed as he walked past the applauding officers.
"We hope Greggorio's first day of school is one he will remember forever, and when he gets older, will understand just how much his father's sacrifice meant to all of us," said Pomona Police Chief Olivieri in a Facebook post. "The Casillas family will never be forgotten, and they are part of a law enforcement family that will ALWAYS be with them."
The boy's father was fatally shot by a fugitive during a standoff after just six months on the force. Family, friends, law enforcement colleagues and Gov. Jerry Brown were at the service for Casillas. The 30-year-old Casillas is survived by his wife and two children and had worked for Pomona police just six months when he was killed March 9.
Prosecutors say Isaias De Jesus Valencia fled from police and barricaded himself in an apartment building before opening fire through a door and striking Casillas. A second officer also was shot in the face but survived.
Valencia faces murder and attempted murder charges, among others. He could face the death penalty if convicted.