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LAPD will honor slain officer Juan Diaz at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

Memorial for LAPD officer Juan Jose Diaz
Chris Martin, center, and Ricardo Camacho visit a memorial to slain LAPD officer Juan Jose Diaz in front of LAPD headquarters. Camacho’s parents were godparents to Diaz. Funeral services for Diaz will be held Aug. 12.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Slain Los Angeles police officer Juan Jose Diaz will be honored at services on Aug. 11 and Aug. 12, according to an internal department notice Tuesday.

Diaz’s family will receive visitors from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Aug. 11 at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive.

The following day, a memorial service will begin at 9 a.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on West Temple Street downtown. Interment will immediately follow at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.

Diaz, 24, was fatally shot near a taco stand with his girlfriend and her two brothers in Lincoln Heights shortly after midnight on Saturday. Moments earlier, the off-duty officer had seen someone tagging a wall and told the person to stop, spurring a confrontation that led to his death, according to law enforcement sources.

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A group of young men approached Diaz sometime after the tagging exchange and began threatening him and his friends, the sources said. One of the young men lifted his shirt to reveal a handgun.

Diaz and his group tried to hurry to their car and drive away to avoid a violent confrontation, a source said. As they got into the vehicle, the gunman opened fire, fatally wounding Diaz and injuring one of his girlfriend’s brothers. A witness flagged down an LAPD motorcycle officer, who found the two men with gunshot wounds about 1 a.m.

Diaz was pronounced dead at the scene, near Avenue 26 and Humboldt Street. His girlfriend’s brother was taken to a hospital for treatment. Police are still searching for the gunman and other suspects.

Diaz joined the force two years ago and was assigned to the Special Operations Division, which conducts investigations into department personnel. He had wanted to be a cop since preschool, a family member told mourners at a vigil for the slain officer on Saturday night.

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The gunman claimed allegiance to the Avenues, a once-powerful gang that has lost its grip on Lincoln Heights in the last decade, the source said. The gunman told Diaz and his friends that they were in the gang’s territory. The group rushed to their car to drive away, but the gunman opened fire as they got into the vehicle.

Police did not release any information about those involved in the officer’s slaying. Investigators were talking to witnesses and gathering evidence from the scene, including video from neighborhood surveillance cameras.


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