Slain San Diego Police Officer Honored At Funeral Mass
This is KPBS Midday Edition I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. It is Thursday August for. Our top story in midday addition family friends and fellow law enforcement officers have gathered in a church in Bonita for the funeral of officer Jonathan Deguzman the San Diego officer was shot to death at their field stopped last Thursday night.'s partner is recovering from gunshot wounds. Steve Welch joins us from outside Corpus Christi Catholic Church where the funeral service is being held. And Steve hello, thank you for joining us. Hello Maureen. Can you describe -- Reporter: Let me describe the scene a little bit. We are outside and the reason we are outside is because they were not allowing cameras into the service that they were going to allow reporters in but unfortunately they just did not have enough room. The church seated only 1200 people and we have had at least 700 officers from the department around the country as well as family, friends and then we have to run across several people who were just there to show support for the family of officer Deguzman. Now can you tell us a little bit about officer Deguzman's family. Reporter: We don't -- they have Ashley kept to themselves. Fairly private. We know he is the father of two children and they lived in Chula Vista . he was very active in the school. The school principal and teachers knew him well, knew him in uniform. Kids would crowd around him when he would come there but the family themselves has been a little reluctant to talk which is completely their prerogative. They decided they have not made somewhat available for us to speak to so we have kept our distance. Steve you have told us there are so many people that discharge Corpus Christi is over the limit of attendance. Who has attended this? Who is speaking? This is -- now this is the first of two events. One will be a ceremony tomorrow which is expected to be much larger. This is far more private and more intimate and it is also a traditional Catholic mass. I am Irish. I am not Catholic myself but I am aware of Catholics . I have a lot of Catholic family so I know what the service looks like. It is very traditional. They will offer communion. The priest will give his homily and then chief Shelley Zimmerman is also expected to give a couple remarks to of remember that the end of the service is still going on and is expected to go on well it started at 11 AM so at least till 12:15 . I would imagine a number of law enforcement officers are in attendance. Reporter: There are. And not just the local community. Not just from San Diego in Chula Vista. I have seen officers from all of the departments but we are also seeing officers from Chicago, New York, Tucson, Long Beach Colorado again North Las Vegas and we have seen a couple different tactical unit out here so we have seen a lot of officers here. In fact a little more than they were expecting for this service and then we are expected to see even more tomorrow. We know officer Deguzman and his partner were both shot last Thursday night and officer was based Deguzman was shot five time. The suspected gunman was arraigned on Tuesday what we know about him Reporter: Well what we know of Jesse Michael Gomez is that he has been charged with murder and attempted murder . he was shot at the scene by officer Deguzman's partner officer Wade Irwin and he fled but was found unconscious and then taken to the hospital where he was in fact arraigned. There was also talk that there was a second suspect. It was supposed to start as initially just a routine stop it they said two pedestrians walking -- they did a U-turn and came back to them. The two peeled off and Jesse Gomez is the one that is being charged with actually shooting the two officers before ultimately fleeing and one of the questions that is still out there is whether or not there is a second suspect out here. The police are still trying to line up. Now as you mentioned a couple of times this is the first today's funeral mass is the first of the funeral services for officer Deguzman. Tomorrow there is a public memorial planned and it is a rather elaborate public memorial. What do we know about that? Reporter: We know that we are expecting to see officers from the around the country coming to this memorial as well as the governor Jerry Brown he is also scheduled to be there. This is where we are likely to see far more in the way of public speeches. They will stream that memorial service so we will be able to see that service as a happens tomorrow. Where is that taking Place? Reporter: The service -- in El Cajon. Thank you. It is in El Cajon and it is that the shadow mountain community church. It is expected to be an extremely large ceremony and I know that will be doing reports from there as well tomorrow to keep people informed about the final public memorial for officer Jonathan Deguzman and I have been speaking with K PBS reporter Steve Walsh live from Corpus Christi Church in Bonita. Steve thank you so much. Reporter: Thanks Marie.
Grieving family members and a somber contingent of law enforcement personnel in dress uniforms gathered Thursday for a funeral service in honor of the San Diego police officer gunned down in a Southcrest neighborhood.
The late-morning Mass for Jonathan "J.D." De Guzman at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Bonita took place a day before a scheduled public memorial in the East County for the 16-year SDPD veteran.
The memorial will be Friday at Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon. A procession to Glen Abbey Memorial Park will follow the midday ceremony.
News crews were not allowed to attend Thursday morning's service.
"The De Guzman family appreciates the efforts of the media to share the life and heroism of their son, husband and father but requests all media remain outside while the funeral Mass is performed," according to a statement from the San Diego Police Officers Association.
The 43-year-old officer and another officer came under fire about 11 p.m. July 28 during a pedestrian stop in a residential area just east of the intersection of Interstate 5 and state Route 15.
De Guzman, father of two young children, suffered five bullet wounds while seated behind the wheel of his cruiser. He was pronounced dead at a trauma center later in the night. His gang-unit partner, Officer Wade Irwin, 32, also was seriously injured but was able to return fire and is expected to recover.
The man accused of shooting the officers, 52-year-old Jesse Michael Gomez, was critically wounded in the exchange of gunfire and remains hospitalized.
Gomez pleaded not guilty at UCSD Medical Center on Tuesday to charges of murder, attempted murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm and was ordered to remain in custody in lieu of $5 million bail. A special-circumstance allegation of murder of a police officer makes Gomez eligible for the death penalty if he is convicted.
The San Diego Police Officers Association is collecting money for De Guzman's family. Donations can be mailed to the San Diego Police Officers Association, 8388 Vickers St., San Diego, CA 92111, or made online at sdpoa.org.
Association officials asked donors to include "Officer Jonathan De Guzman" in the notes of the online donation or on the memo lines of their checks.
Contributions to aid in Irwin's recovery expenses can be made at gofundme.com/irwinfamilyfund.