Candlelight vigil held for slain youth pastor in Pomona

POMONA, Calif.

More than 100 people gathered in honor of 33-year-old Daniel Diaz. Diaz had taken a friend and three young people to the movies Sunday night. They had just dropped off one of the teens and were stopped at a stop sign at Park Avenue and Mayfair Street when a suspect walked up to their vehicle and opened fire, killing Diaz.

Diaz's friend, Eddie Reyes, was driving the car when the shots rang out.

"Once I heard about three more bangs and more glass shattering, I understood then what was going on. I was yelling for the kids to get down," said Reyes.

Diaz was a youth pastor at New Beginning Community Ministry, a church in Baldwin Park led by his parents. Many of the young people that Diaz worked with said he made a big difference in their lives.

"Daniel would change his plans around if he had things to do with his girlfriend or his family. He'd sometimes dropped those things because there were kids that were in need," said Louie Mateos, the victim's friend. "To a lot of these boys, he was like a big brother. A lot of the boys that he was working with, in many cases, were fatherless. Daniel became to some of them like a big brother, and to the younger ones, almost like a father figure."

The search continues for the gunman. A suspect description was not immediately available.

Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call the Pomona Police Department's Detective Bureau at (909) 620-2085 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

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