A suspected Mongols motorcycle gang member accused of shooting a Pomona police SWAT officer who was helping to serve a warrant at a home in San Gabriel was charged Thursday with capital murder.
David Martinez, 36, appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court and was ordered to be jailed without bail while awaiting arraignment Nov. 13.
Prosecutors have yet to decide whether to seek the death penalty against Martinez, who is accused of shooting Officer Shaun Diamond around 4 a.m. Tuesday.
Diamond, 45, was shot in the back of the head. He was pronounced dead at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena at 3:24 a.m. Wednesday.
The murder charge against Martinez includes a special circumstance allegation of murder of a police officer. The criminal complaint also includes gun and gang allegations.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said Diamond was helping to open the outer door of a home in the 100 block of San Marino Avenue as part of a multi-agency operation targeting the Mongols gang when an interior door of the home was opened and a single shotgun blast rang out.
Police did not return fire.
“The officers at this point didn’t have a clear shot at the suspect,” said sheriff’s Lt. Eddie Hernandez. “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.”
Sheriff’s officials said Martinez has a criminal history that includes assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence.
Diamond had 16 years of experience in law enforcement. He 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 and its SWAT team two years later.
Diamond is survived by his wife, a son, daughter, mother, father, sister and brother.
A prayer vigil will be held in Diamond’s memory at 6:30 p.m. at Mission Boulevard and Park Avenue in Pomona.
Martinez was jailed under “risk precaution” procedures requiring him to be checked every 15 minutes, said Nicole Nishida, a sheriff’s spokeswoman. He was not on suicide watch, she said.
Martinez claimed in court that he was jailed without clothing or food. But jail officials deny that he has been held in such conditions, ABC7 reported.
— City News Service