A memorial, procession and funeral service will be held Monday morning for Juan Jose Diaz, the 24-year-old LAPD officer who was shot and killed a week ago near a Lincoln Heights taco stand.
Father Tesfaldet Asghedom, pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Lincoln Heights, will deliver the homily during a bilingual morning mass that begins at 9 am at our Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Downtown L.A. The mass will be open to public but seating will be limited, according to an LAPD statement.
A funeral procession and motorcade, which will pass through Echo Park on Temple and Alvarado streets, will then make its way to a graveside service and interment at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills. Officials warned motorists that several streets near the cathedral will be closed as early as 6 am.
The LAPD will honor Diaz with the playing of bagpipes, a helicopter flyover in the missing-man formation, a rifle volley salute and a single horse without a rider that will accompany the procession.
Monday's services will be proceeded by a rosary service and visitation today, Sunday, Aug. 11, beginning at 5 pm at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.
Diaz, who grew up and lived in Cypress Park, was off duty when he had gone to a taco stand with friends when there was a confrontation with tagger at about 1 am on Saturday, July 27 near Avenue 26 and Artesian Street in Lincoln Heights.
Cristian Facundo, 20, of Murrieta, and Francisco Talamantes III, 23, of Temecula, were arrested and charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder, along with a special circumstance allegation of murder by an active member of a street gang. Both men, along with another suspect, Ashlynn Smith, 18, of Temecula, were also charged with shooting at an occupied motor vehicle and vandalism. Smith also faces a count of being an accessory after the fact, while Talamantes was charged with a count of possession of a firearm by a felon.
Diaz and his group spotted Facundo and Smith walking on the other side of the street, and saw Facundo bend down and begin painting graffiti on a sidewalk, according to detectives. Diaz and another member of his group questioned Facundo, who became aggressive toward them and lifted his shirt to reveal that he was carrying a handgun, Hayes said.
According to police, Facundo walked away briefly, and Diaz and his group decided to leave the area and got into a vehicle. As the group was leaving the scene, Facundo and Talamantes ran along the right side of the vehicle, and Facundo fired several rounds through the rear window, striking Diaz and another man inside, Hayes said.
The driver fled the area and spotted a nearby LAPD patrol car and summoned help, Hayes said.
Diaz died at the scene, and the other man was critically injured. The off-duty officer was armed but had no chance to use it defend himself, police said.
Detectives said the shooting of Diaz came roughly in the middle of a 90-minute crime spree carried out by the three suspects and another unidentified woman. Hayes said that shortly after midnight, the group went to the 2500 block of West Avenue 33 and vandalized a vehicle belonging to a former boyfriend of one of the women. A portion of that crime was caught on surveillance video, Hayes said.
About 20 minutes later, the group went to the 4200 block of Eagle Rock Boulevard and painted some graffiti in that area, after which they moved onto the area of the taco stand in Lincoln Heights, where the Diaz shooting occurred, police said.
Following that shooting, the group went back to Avenue 33 and waited for the ex-boyfriend whose car the suspects had vandalized earlier, police said. When that person appeared, one of the suspects tried to open fire, but the weapon malfunctioned, and nobody was injured, police said.
Facundo and Talamantes face a possible death sentence if convicted, but prosecutors will decide later whether to seek capital punishment.
Officer Diaz, who had served only two years in the department before being killed, is survived by his father, Candelario; Mother, Rocio; and sisters, Sarahy and Anahy.