Pomona SWAT officer dies from injuries sustained in shooting

ByABC7.com staff KABC logo
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Pomona SWAT officer dies from injuries
A Pomona SWAT officer has died from his injuries after he was shot Tuesday while serving a search warrant in San Gabriel.

POMONA, Calif. (KABC) -- A Pomona SWAT officer has died from his injuries after he was shot Tuesday while serving a search warrant in San Gabriel during a sweep targeting criminal motorcycle gangs.

Investigators said Officer Shaun Diamond, 45, was shot almost immediately upon breaching the outer door of a house on the 100 block of San Marino Avenue near the intersection of West Hermosa and Las Tunas drives at about 4 a.m. He was transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, where he passed away early Wednesday morning.

"It is with a heavy heart that we must deliver the news that early this morning, Pomona Police SWAT Officer Shaun Diamond had succumbed to his injuries," Pomona Police Chief Paul Capraro said in a statement.

Hundreds of officers from across Southern California took part in a police procession that escorted Diamond's body from the hospital to the Los Angeles County coroner's office.

Diamond's mother said she was touched by the show of support from fellow officers.

"I hugged most of those officers. It was fabulous, it was beautiful, and I felt so honored. Right now, I'm feeling really humbled to be his mom," Joy Diamond told Eyewitness News. "I'm going to miss him. I don't know how I live a life without Shaun."

Pomona SWAT Officer Shaun Diamond is seen in an undated photo provided by his family.

Diamond started his police career with the LAPD, then the Montebello Police Department before joining the Pomona Police Department in 2006. He had been a SWAT officer since 2008, serving on dozens of SWAT operations, according to Pomona police.

"In addition to his service in the field, he has contributed greatly to many of the department's community outreach efforts," said Capraro.

Investigators say Diamond was the first in the line of fire during Tuesday's operation. After SWAT members announced their presence, the interior door opened and a shotgun was fired. Diamond was hit above his ballistics vest. He was wearing a Kevlar helmet, and may have been struck in the back of the head, according to a sheriff's official.

San Gabriel resident David Martinez, 36, was taken into custody, and no further suspects were sought in connection to the shooting. Officials say Martinez was the target of several warrants, and his criminal history includes assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence.

The suspect's father, who was also arrested, was struck by gunfire in the left arm above the elbow during the incident, police said. It was believed the shotgun was only fired once, and SWAT officers who entered the home did not return fire.

Martinez was booked for attempted murder of a peace officer and was held on $4 million bail. He is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

Police officers with Pomona, Montebello, San Gabriel and Alhambra police departments were all involved in serving the search warrant. Authorities said the search warrant was part of a joint operation sweep targeting criminal motorcycle gangs across the Los Angeles area.

Last month, motorists in Corona were endangered in a shootout between Hells Angels and Mongols gang members.

A neighbor across the street from the residence told Eyewitness News Tuesday that Martinez often wore a Mongols motorcycle gang jacket. The connection with the Mongols was not confirmed by police.

Gov. Jerry Brown ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff at the state Capitol in honor of Diamond, who is survived by his wife, a son, daughter, mother, father, sister and brother.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau is investigating the shooting.

The Pomona Police Officers' Association will be accepting donations on behalf of Diamond's family.

Checks can be made out to the Pomona POA, with Officer Shaun Diamond's name on the memo line. If donating cash or gift card, Pomona police ask that you leave a short note with information on who the donation is coming from.

Donations can be sent to: Pomona Police Officers' Association at 174 W. McKinley Ave. Pomona, CA 91767.