California SWAT officer who was shot in raid dies

AP News
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Posted: Oct 29, 2014 9:57 AM

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — A SWAT officer died early Wednesday, a day after being wounded by a shotgun blast while attempting to force open a door during a pre-dawn raid at a Southern California home, authorities said.

Pomona Police Officer Shaun Diamond, 45, succumbed to his injuries at a Pasadena hospital, Chief Paul Capraro said in a statement.

The suspect in the shooting, David Martinez of San Gabriel, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of a police officer. He was jailed on $4 million bail, and it wasn't immediately known if he had a lawyer.

Diamond was wounded as he attempted to lead fellow officers into the home around 4 a.m. Tuesday, Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Eddie Hernandez said.

"When Officer Diamond was attempting to breach the outer door of the location, the interior door opened and he was met with gunfire," Hernandez told reporters at a news conference outside the hospital.

He said Diamond, who was wearing a helmet, appeared to have been struck in the back of the head by a single gunshot that also hit the suspect's father in the arm.

Martinez, 36, surrendered without incident, Hernandez said. Officers did not return fire because the suspect's father was in the way, he said.

Motorcycle officers and squad cars from several law enforcement agencies accompanied a vehicle carrying Diamond's body on the trip from the hospital to the Los Angeles coroner's office before dawn Wednesday. Firefighters assembled along the route saluted the procession.

Diamond was part of a multiagency team serving a warrant at the house relating to a motorcycle gang, Pomona police Lt. Mike Keltner said. He didn't say what officers were looking for.

Diamond, a 15-year law enforcement veteran, joined the Pomona Police Department in 2006 after working for the Los Angeles Police Department. He became a SWAT officer in 2008.

"He has proudly served our city during dozens of SWAT operations," Capraro said.

Members of law enforcement were also mourning a veteran Ventura County sheriff's deputy who was struck by a car and killed Tuesday during a freeway traffic stop. Sheriff's Sgt. Eugene Kostiuchenko was hit by a suspected drunken driver moments after pulling over another motorist.

The deaths follow the slayings of two sheriff's deputies during a shooting rampage last week in Northern California that also left a motorist and third deputy wounded. Prosecutors filed murder charges Tuesday against two Utah residents. Sacramento County Deputy Daniel Oliver and Placer County homicide Detective Michael Davis were killed Friday.

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Associated Press writer Christopher Weber contributed from Los Angeles.