Funeral service held for sheriff’s detective killed as she helped a person in need

Los Angeles County sheriff’s Det. Amber Leist, 41, was struck and killed Jan. 12 in Valley Village while rendering aid to a woman who had fallen in the street.
(Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

Funeral services were held Saturday for Los Angeles County sheriff’s Det. Amber Leist, who was struck by a vehicle after helping a woman cross a Valley Village street.

“Since her passing, I’ve come to find out that she left a gigantic void in the hearts of many in our department, particularly those at the West Hollywood station,” where she was assigned, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at the service, held at the Mosaic Church on Hollywood Boulevard. “Amber’s commitment to service is a reflection of what the men and women of the sheriff’s department do every day.”

Services were closed to the public, but were livestreamed on the sheriff’s department Facebook page.

Leist, 41, was returning to her vehicle when she was struck by a car Jan. 12. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. She was a 12-year veteran of the department.

“Our hearts are broken,” Amber’s father, Daniel Leist, told reporters at a vigil earlier this month. `"This is the most heart-rending thing you could ever experience. You never think you’re going to lose your baby. But Amber came into this department and she knew what she had to do.”


The woman Leist helped the day she was killed also attended the vigil.

“She saved my life, I wish I could have saved hers,” Leslie Menaha told KTTV-TV.

The sheriff’s department shared on its Twitter page a video tribute to Leist from her classmates at the Sheriff’s Academy that included the caption, ``"Amber touched everyone w/her positive & uplifting personality. We may not be able to see you, but we know you’ll always be there.”

Leist is survived by her parents and 17- and 20-year-old sons.