More than 100 people held a vigil Saturday night in front of the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters building downtown in memory of Juan Jose Diaz, killed just hours before in a shooting in the Lincoln Heights while off-duty.
Among those attending were classmates who attended the Police Academy with Diaz, 24, two sisters, former teachers and former middle and high school classmates. Several officers were in uniform with black mourning bands around their badges.
The 8 p.m. vigil was held in front of a photo of a smiling Diaz with a sign that read: "Rest easy brother. We'll hold the line from here." Sgt. Manny Hernandez was Diaz's Police Academy sergeant in 2017 and noted his pupil "was always asking questions."
"I saw him grow up and had no doubt he'd be a great police officer," Hernandez said. "He showed up every day with a smile on his face."
One of his sisters emphasized the risks officers face every day pic.twitter.com/sOrvCoiaUM— KTLA (@KTLA) July 28, 2019
Diaz's sister Anahi Diaz told the crowd her brother was living his dream, noting he wanted to be a police officer since pre-school. Their mother and father "are broken," she said.
"We need to stop this madness," said his sister Sarahi Diaz.
Diaz, 24, had served on the LAPD for only two years when he was shot and killed early Saturday morning when he and others had gone to a taco truck near Avenue 26 and Humboldt Street.