LEMOORE, California (KGPE) — Services for late Lemoore Police officer Jonathan Diaz began Thursday with a multi-agency guided procession from Fresno to Lemoore. Many in Diaz’s community showing their support, in just the latest showing of how much the city loves and misses the officer.
The procession began at 2:15 p.m. at Chapel of the Light Funeral Home in Fresno. It ended at St. Peter Prince of the Apostles Roman Catholic Church in Lemoore, where all of Diaz’s services will be held.
Diaz was shot and killed off-duty while attending a birthday party in Hanford on Nov. 2. Authorities say Ramiro Trevino Jr. pulled the trigger on Diaz and his father when they intervened in an alleged domestic violence dispute.
Trevino Jr. shot and killed himself that night. His father died in the hospital on Nov. 4.
Lemoore Police invited the community to line the procession’s path over social media, prompting many of Diaz’s friends to show their support. Other community members used their presence as a message: they stand with Lemoore Police and Diaz’s family.
Erin Vannoy has worked alongside Diaz as an American Ambulance worker. For her, in the nearly two weeks it’s been since his death, the pain hasn’t gotten any easier to deal with.
“It’s been a tough year for our community, for first responders. We’ve lost a lot of people we care about and this is how we come together,” Vannoy said.
The community’s unity can be seen strongly outside of the Lemoore Police Department, where a memorial outside of the front door continues to grow.
Amy Ward, CEO of the Lemoore Chamber of Commerce, said numerous local businesses have been stepping up since the night Diaz passed away. For example, Reyna’s Restaurant donated food not only to Diaz’s family, but for the funeral reception as well.
“We’ve got caterers [from out of town] coming through with donations for desserts for the reception, too,” Ward said.
None of this is a surprise for anyone, though, calling Lemoore as tight-knit as you can get.
“When LPD loses one of their own, or they’re struggling, it’s our responsibility as a community to step up and help them out,” Ward said. “At the end of the day, safer communities [are] good for business. Good business is good for communities.”
A public viewing will continue at St. Peter until 7 p.m. After that, a vigil will begin.
Diaz’s funeral service begins at 10 a.m. Friday. The public is also invited to attend that service.