A Pomona police SWAT officer who was shot while helping to serve a warrant in San Gabriel died Wednesday.
Shaun Diamond, 45, was pronounced dead at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena at 3:24 a.m., said Los Angeles County coroner’s Lt. Larry Dietz. Funeral arrangements are pending.
“It is with a heavy heart that we must deliver the news that early this morning, Pomona Police SWAT Officer Shaun Diamond succumbed to his injuries,” Pomona Police Chief Paul Capraro said in a written statement.
About 6 a.m., a procession of law enforcement personnel in motorcycles and squad cars began escorting Diamond’s body from the hospital in Pasadena to the coroner’s facility near downtown Los Angeles.
Diamond was shot in the back of the head around 4 a.m. Tuesday while helping to serve a warrant in the 100 block of San Marino Avenue as part of a multi-agency, multi-location operation targeting motorcycle gangs, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida.
Sheriff’s Lt. Eddie Hernandez said Diamond was one of several officers trying to open the outer door of the home when “the interior door opened and he was met with gunfire.”
Hernandez said one shot was fired from a shotgun, apparently striking Diamond in the back of the head, even though the officer was wearing a Kevlar helmet. Other officers and the scene did not return fire.
“The officers at this point didn’t have a clear shot at the suspect,” he said. “The suspect, we’re being told, laid on the ground and put the firearm to his side. Also the (suspect’s) father was in the way and at that point it became a rescue operation to get the officer some medical attention. The suspect was taken into custody without incident.”
Diamond was working as part of a task force involving Pomona and Montebello police and sheriff’s deputies.
Authorities said Diamond had 16 years of experience in law enforcement. According to the governor’s office, Diamond worked with the Los Angeles Police Department from 1995-2002, then with the Montebello Police Department from 2002-03. He joined the Pomona Police Department in 2006.
“He has proudly served our city during dozens of SWAT operations,” Capraro told reporters following the shooting. Diamond joined the SWAT team in 2008.
“One of Shaun’s passions is to help train our officers as a field training officer. He currently works our downtown district enforcement team, providing services exclusively to the businesses and residents in the city’s downtown area. In addition to his service in the field he has contributed greatly to many of the department’s community outreach efforts, which include canine demonstrations, Special Olympics events and SWAT demonstrations for local school kids.”
Suspect David Martinez, 36, of San Gabriel was in the Montebello city jail in lieu of $1 million bail with his first court appearance set for Thursday in the Los Angeles Criminal Courts Building at 210 W. Temple St., according to sheriff’s inmate records. Sheriff’s officials earlier had said his bail was $4 million.
Martinez originally had been booked on suspicion of attempted murder on a police officer.
Sheriff’s officials said Martinez has a criminal history that includes assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence.
Gov. Jerry Brown hailed Diamond for making “the ultimate sacrifice in service to his community.”
“Ann and I join his family, friends and fellow Pomona peace officers in mourning this tragic loss,” Brown said.
Brown ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff at the state Capitol in honor of Diamond, who is survived by his wife, a son, daughter, mother, father, sister and brother.
His mother, Joy Diamond, told ABC7 she has been overwhelmed by the support the family has received from her son’s colleagues.
“I hugged most of those officers,” she said. “It was fabulous. It was beautiful. I felt so honored.”
—City News Service