Memorial service held for Los Angeles sheriff's detective Amber Leist

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Hundreds of law enforcement officers packed a church in Los Angeles on Saturday to remember an off-duty Los Angeles County Sheriff's detective who was struck and killed after helping a woman cross a street.

Amber Leist, 41, was remembered by mourners as an uplifting and selfless person with talent for connecting with people.

"Today we're reminded that there are still heroes, that there are still women and men who cause us all to live lives that make us better," Mosaic Church Pastor Erwin McManus said.

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Leist got out of her car on Jan. 12 to help an elderly pedestrian who fell while crossing a street. She was returning to her vehicle when the traffic light turned green and an oncoming vehicle struck her, according to authorities, who are treating the case as an accident.

The woman who Leist helped cross the street, Leslie Mehana, also attended the service.

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"It did not surprise me in the least that Amber's final deed was helping an elderly woman in distress," said Capt. Edward Ramirez of the sheriff's West Hollywood station where she worked. "She enjoyed giving, serving and living in a way that influenced others positively."

He added: "We all feel that her life was cut too short, her career ended too soon with so much still left to accomplished."

Leist, a 12-year veteran of the department, served as a deputy and school resource officer before being promoted to detective five years ago. She is survived by her parents, three sisters and 17- and 20-year-old sons.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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