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.