Hanford, CA – Lemoore Police Department (LPD) Officer Jonathan Diaz was fatally shot while rescuing a woman who was being assaulted by her boyfriend on Saturday night.
The party was being held in honor of 58-year-old Ramiro Trevino Sr. His son, 32-year-old Ramiro Trevino Jr., was friends with Officer Diaz.
At approximately 9 p.m., Trevino Jr. began fighting with his girlfriend, KFSN reported.
Trevino Sr. and Officer Diaz intervened in the brawl, and were able to get the woman to safety, according to police.
They then turned their attention back to Trevino Jr., who was armed and agitated.
"It appeared the two victims were really trying to stop what was occurring," Kings County Sheriff Dave Robinson said, according to FOX News. "They definitely put their lives on the line to try to defuse the situation.”
But Trevino Jr. opened fire on his father and his friend, hitting them both multiple times before he fatally shot himself.
Officer Diaz died of his wounds at the scene, FOX News reported.
Kings County Sheriff's Commander Mark Bevens said Trevino Sr. was transported to Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia, where he remains in critical condition, KGPE reported.
Trevino Jr. was a Kings County welfare fraud investigator, the Hanford Sentinel reported.
Lemoore Acting Police Chief Michael Kendall said that Officer Diaz saved the woman’s life, and that his heroic action will be treated as a line-of-duty death.
“Officer Diaz was acting in accordance with his duty as a police officer,” Chief Kendall said during a press conference on Monday afternoon. “From the department’s standpoint, I would treat it as an in-the-line-of-duty death.”
“It’s not surprising to me that he went above and beyond,” he continued. “Those in law enforcement have a true understanding that, just because they are not in uniform, they still have a responsibility to take action.”
After graduating from the police academy in 2013, Officer Diaz was hired by the Huron Police Department (HPD).
He joined the LPD in 2016 as a reserve police officer, and was hired as a full-time officer in January of the following year.
The rookie cop was recognized as LPD’s Officer of the Year during his first year as a full-time officer, Chief Kendall said.
Officer Diaz “personally started” a program for at-risk youth, which involved taking them to visit a prison setting to help divert them from turning to crime, the chief noted.
The program was “very effective” in helping many of the community’s youth, he said.
Officer Diaz was also a recruit training officer at the police academy, and received a total of four commendations during his brief, but impactful career.
Chief Kendall said that the young officer was a beloved member of the department, and that he considered him to be his friend.
“You won’t find anybody here that did not like him. He got along with everybody,” the chief told reporters. “He was just happy. He was happy to work here, and he was happy in life.”
Officer Diaz leaves behind his parents, two brothers, and two sons.
“They are extremely proud of his career path, and are humbled by the outpouring of condolences by the community,” Chief Kendall said.
The HPD also released a statement in the wake of Officer Diaz’s murder.
“Huron Police Department is saddened by the death of our former Huron Police Officer Jonathan Diaz, and City of Lemoore Police Officer, at the time of his death,” the agency said in a Facebook post on Sunday. “We extend our sincere condolences to the family of Officer Jonathan Diaz, Lemoore Police Department, and those who knew and worked alongside Jonathan.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Lemoore Police Department Officer Jonathan Diaz, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Jonathan Diaz, your life mattered.