Fil-Am cop killed in line of duty honored by community
A Filipino-American police officer was shot dead last week while carrying out his duties in San Diego, California, according to a report on The Guardian.
San Diego police officer Jonathan "JD" DeGuzman was shot with his partner Wade Irwin while performing a stop at a Seacrest neighborhood near midnight on Thursday (US time).
DeGuzman and his partner, who are part of a gang suppression unit, requested "emergency cover" and were found with gunshot wounds on their upper bodies by responding officers.
The 43-year-old DeGuzman, who moved to the US from the Philippines 20 years ago, was given immediate medical aid but passed away in the hospital. His partner, meanwhile, is expected to survive.
Police traced one suspect to a ravine within hours after the crime while the other was arrested on Friday in a Shelltown neighborhood near a house police searched earlier that day.
It is still unclear if the stop DeGuzman and his partner performed was a pedestrian or vehicular stop.
The Filipino-American was awarded a purple heart by former San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne 13 years ago after he was stabbed during a traffic stop.
Supporters and colleagues of DeGuzman told NBC 7 that the Fil-Am officer was devoted "to serve the community" he adopted when he moved to the US from the Philippines in the 90s.
“He was a community man, wanted to help out and loved the children,” DeGuzman's cousin Joseph Malabanan said.
Chula Vista's police chief, David Bejarano, who hired DeGuzman 16 years ago, said, "[There] wasn’t an ounce of hate in him... His character, his integrity and passion [was] to serve the community."
Lansdowne told the LA Times that DeGuzman was "was really the kind of person you would like to be around" who "had nothing but kind words to say about the other officers in the department."
Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said of DeGuzman, "He cared. He came to work every single day just wanting to make a positive difference in the lives of our community. And last night, he lost his life trying to make a positive difference and trying to protect our community.”
A funeral mass will be held for DeGuzman on Thursday and a public memorial service for law enforcement and community members will be held on Friday. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News