A Pomona police SWAT officer who died during a raid on a suspected motorcycle gang member’s home was eulogized Thursday as a devoted father and committed training officer who used his good humor — and good looks — to teach children about safety and work with merchants in the downtown area he patrolled.
Officer Shaun Diamond, 45, was fatally shot Oct. 28 while 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. A person inside the home fired a single shot, striking Diamond, who died the following day.
“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 during Diamond’s funeral at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. “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.”
The chief said those traits carried over in Diamond’s work as a field training officer
“He took training very seriously and passed on what he learned to fellow squad members and trainees,” Capraro said.
He said Diamond also worked closely with business owners and patrons in the downtown Pomona area he patrolled.
“In this capacity, the downtown officers have to be sympathetic to the business owners and their patrons while still enforcing the complex laws and ordinances that apply,” the chief said. “Shaun had a great way to balance this by using his respectful personality, sharp sense of humor — and of course his good looks. Or at least that’s what he’d tell you.
“Shaun loved working the assignment in the downtown community, and the downtown community loved him right back.”
Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris were among those who attended the service, which was followed by a procession to Forest Lawn- Covina Hills, where Diamond will be interred.
“We grew up with him, we were very connected with him,” his daughter, 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.”
David Martinez, 36, a suspected Mongols motorcycle gang member accused of firing the shot that killed Diamond, was charged with capital murder last week. He appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court and was ordered jailed without bail while awaiting arraignment Nov. 13.
Prosecutors have yet to decide whether to seek the death penalty for Martinez. The murder charge against him includes a special circumstance allegation of murder of a police officer, as well as gun and gang allegations.
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.
—City News Service