Funeral services were held in Pomona Thursday for a 52-year-old Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who died as a result of what his union says was a head wound he suffered in a shooting 24 years ago.
Steven Belanger died Tuesday from injuries he suffered when he was shot in the head in a December 1994 traffic stop in Rowland Heights, according to the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs.
Belanger was 29, a married father of a year-old daughter and a seven- year LASD veteran when he was shot by a 20-year-old man on a skateboard, a bullet lodging in his brain, unable to be removed, according to ALADS and a Los Angeles Times article published in the weeks after the shooting.
“His retirement, ongoing health issues and ultimately his death … were related to the shooting,” according to an ALADS statement.
During Thursday’s service, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said Belanger “is one of our heroes.”
“A role model. A man we can honor as a husband, father and L.A. County sheriff’s deputy,” he said.
ALADS President Ron Hernandez extended condolences to Belanger’s family, friends and co-workers and said the county “lost a true hero.”
“While he was shot in the line of duty over two decades ago, Steve and his family bravely faced the challenges of his injuries up until his passing,” Hernandez said. “Steve’s death is a tragic loss that reminds us of the risks that law enforcement officers take every day to keep us safe. His service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”
The gunman, Matthew Hagemann of Rowland Heights, described as a friend of an assault suspect who was pulled over and being questioned by Belanger, fatally shot himself a few hours after he wounded the deputy, according to The Times.
–City News Services