The life of slain Los Angeles Police Department Officer Juan Jose Diaz will be honored before Saturday evening’s Los Angeles Dodgers game at Dodger Stadium, with Diaz’s family members and LAPD Chief Michel Moore set to attend the ceremony.
Diaz was an avid Dodgers fan. Many of the more than 100 people who gathered for a vigil in his memory the night he was killed wore Dodgers gear, reflecting his love of the team.
Diaz, 24, was killed in the early morning hours of July 27 in Lincoln Heights, where he had gone with his girlfriend and her two brothers to a taco stand.
Diaz grew up in the northeast Los Angeles area and professed his desire as a child to become a police officer. He had been with the LAPD for about two years, and was assigned to the Special Operations Division unit of the department’s Professional Standards Bureau.
Diaz was off-duty when he was killed. Three people were arrested in Riverside County Aug. 2 in connection with the killing. Two of them, reputed gang members Cristian Facundo, 20, of Murrieta, and Francisco Talamantes III, 23, of Temecula, were subsequently charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder, along with a special circumstance allegation of murder by an active member of a street gang. Both men, along with another suspect, Ashlynn Smith, 18, of Temecula, were also charged with shooting at an occupied motor vehicle and vandalism.
At his funeral, Moore called Diaz “a young man filled with such life and possibility, so senselessly taken from us.”