The vigil for Toshio Hirai was held at 6:30 p.m. at the Gardena Police Station.
Hirai was a 12-year veteran and a lead member of the department's SWAT team. His colleagues called him the type of officer to go out of his way to help anyone.
With rows of law enforcement officials standing behind him, Gardena Police Department Chief Thomas Kang spoke about the beloved officer Thursday night, not long after announcing Hirai's death.
"... He's a mentor to a lot of our officers...," he said. "I shed a lot of tears today as if Toshio was my own son."
Gardena PD announcing the death of Officer Toshio Hirai, a 34 year old husband and father of a 2-year-old son, who was involved in a crash yesterday while on patrol on his motorcycle. Chief of Police calls it "devastating."— Jory Rand (@ABC7Jory) November 16, 2018
More at 11 on @ABC7 pic.twitter.com/59hzZ1noAB
The collision happened while Hirai was on his motorcycle in Los Angeles near 238th Street and Western Avenue around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. The other driver was a 17-year-old girl who stopped at the scene and cooperated with investigators. She was licensed and neither drugs nor alcohol were suspected as factors in the crash. No arrests were made.
The 34-year-old officer leaves behind a wife and 2-year-old son.
The Gardena officers union set up a fund to assist the Hirai family available at this link. Checks can also be made payable to the Gardena Police Officers' Association and mailed or brought to the Gardena Police Department at 1718 W 162nd Street, Gardena CA 90247.