Today, we pray for the family of an off-duty officer in Lincoln Heights, California who is going to bury their loved one.

Juan Jose Diaz was killed early Saturday morning and a second person was injured after a reported gang-related shooting in Lincoln Heights.

 

Police say Diaz was at a taco stand with his girlfriend and her two brothers when a group of young men approached them and began making threats.

Apparently one of the men reportedly claimed his allegiance to a gang, then told Diaz’s group they were in his territory before lifting his shirt to display a handgun.

Police sources told local media outlets that Diaz, his girlfriend, and her brothers tried to leave in their car to avoid confrontation.

That’s when the gunman is said to have opened fire – just as they were getting into the vehicle.

Diaz was killed and his girlfriend’s brother was injured.

“It is with deep, deep sorrow that we are here this morning to provide you with preliminary information on the death of an off-duty Los Angeles police officer which has occurred in the area of Avenue 26 and Figueroa,” said acting police Chief Beatrice Girmala.

Girmala said a civilian flagged down a member of the Los Angeles Police Department motorcycle officer just before 1 a.m. and told officers shots were fired in the area.

That officer called for backup and responded to the area of Avenue 26 and Artesian Street – that’s where he found two male victims with gunshot wounds.

Diaz died on the scene – his girlfriend’s brother was taken to the hospital – we don’t know his condition.

Girmala said the department has committed all available resources and support services possible to bring justice.

“They are committed to doing a thorough, fair investigation that will lead us on the road to justice for what has occurred here today,” Girmala said.

LAPD Headquarters put out a statement on Saturday.  They said Diaz had only been with the department for two years and was most recently assigned to Professional Standards Bureau.

Mayor Eric Garcetti expressed his condolences on social media Saturday morning.

“Angelenos are waking to the tragic news that one of our own @LAPDHQ officers was taken from us in a senseless murder,” he wrote. “Words cannot match our sorrow or ease the shock we feel over this reminder of the dangers that officers face every moment they wear the badge. This City will stand with the officer’s family every step of the way, and will not rest until we find and prosecute a vicious killer. My Crisis Response Team has been sent to comfort and assist the family at this moment of unthinkable grief.”

There was a procession Saturday morning when Diaz’s body was taken to the coroner’s office.

According to Girmala, the department is doing all it can to minimize the impact of the investigation on the community.

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We’re also learning more today about a tragic crash in North Carolina that will leave a state trooper paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of his life.

Police say 36-year-old Dontay Kilgo refused to stop when Trooper Christopher L. Wooten tried to pull him over on Monday.

Wooten gave chase to Kilgo, who then ran a stoplight.

A pickup truck slammed into Wooten’s motorcycle, seriously injuring the trooper at around 9:30 a.m. The collision happened at the intersection of Tuckaseegee Road and Edgewood Drive.

On Friday, highway patrol wrote:

“Unfortunately, after the performance of several medical procedures, which included surgery to fuse and decompress his C1-C5 vertebrae and stabilize the spinal column, it was determined that Chris suffered significant spinal cord trauma during the crash. At the moment, the surgeons are classifying the injury as a complete spinal cord injury at the top of the spine, which is resulting in paralysis from the neck down.”

Kilgo, who was later found and arrested, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer, felony flee to elude, reckless driving, failure to heed to blue lights, driving while license revoked and possession of marijuana.

 

You can read NCSHP’s entire post below:

Over the past four days, updates have been disseminated regarding the status of Trooper Wooten, to ensure each of you are aware of his latest prognosis. While we all have joined together in praying for a speedy recovery, I deliver this message with a very heavy heart.

Doctors have been monitoring Chris’ recovery around the clock while providing the best medical care and attention for his condition. Unfortunately, after the performance of several medical procedures, which included surgery to fuse and decompress his C1-C5 vertebrae and stabilize the spinal column, it was determined that Chris suffered significant spinal cord trauma during the crash. At the moment, the surgeons are classifying the injury as a complete spinal cord injury at the top of the spine, which is resulting in paralysis from the neck down.

On Wednesday, Chris had surgery for a tracheostomy and a feeding tube, which also went well and will hopefully lead to better communication down the road. In the coming weeks, Chris will begin rehabilitation in preparation to return home. Ultimately, Chris and his family have a long road of recovery ahead and they are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of love and support.

Chris’ beloved wife, Sharon, and the entire Wooten family have requested I express their heartfelt appreciation for the overwhelming amount of support offered by our Patrol members both sworn and civilian. Personally, I am so proud to see how so many have put themselves aside while aiding Chris and his family in such time of enormous need.

To assist the Wooten family, an account under Christopher and Sharon Wooten Special Account has been established at the NC State Employees Credit Union. Those wishing to make a donation can do so by visiting any NCSECU branch. Your continuous support is appreciated.

My prayer is that God continues to provide comfort to Chris, the Wooten family and to every member of this amazing organization. We must continue to stand together to overcome the adversity we all share due to Chris’ absence. May God continue to bless Chris, Sharon, their daughters, Kylee and Madison, and the entire Patrol family during this difficult time.

Most sincerely,

GMM

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In the meantime, two State Bureau of Investigation agents in Dunn, North Carolina were injured, one critically, during a blast overnight into Friday. The incident occurred as SBI agents served a search warrant, looking for explosives.

The suspect responsible, Jimmy Tyndall, was being held Friday on multiple charges, including three counts of possession of weapon of mass destruction, misdemeanor larceny, speeding, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of methamphetamines. He is being held on a bond of $151,000 at the Sampson County jail.

Jimmy Tyndall, 33

Jimmy Tyndall, 33

In a bit of ominous foreshadowing, Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said at a news conference that Tyndall was originally stopped by deputies a day earlier for speeding in Spivey’s Corner. A K9 dog smelled narcotics and officers searched the man’s vehicle. The vehicle search led investigators to the man’s home on JV Farm Road in Dunn off of U.S. Highway 13, where two pipe bombs and a large amount of bomb making materials were found.

During the previous day’s vehicle search, at least three pipe bombs were found, and they were detonated at the scene, Thornton said.

The SBI agents were members of the agency’s bomb squad, and they were hurt when the chemicals at the man’s house ignited.

After the blast, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Timothy Luper and Special Agent Brian Joy were rushed to area hospitals for medical treatment.

SBI Agent Timothy Luper

SBI Agent Timothy Luper

While both agents were sent to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill, Special Agent Joyd was in critical condition, according to the SBI. Luper was listed in stable condition.

“It was a heckuva boom,” Thorton said. “It was a powerful blast.”

Thornton said they don’t believe the suspect was plotting anything nefarious.

“I doubt if his intention was to blow anyone up,” the sheriff said. “I think it was just one of those things he got off on.”

Tyndall was also stopped last year and found with a pipe bomb. His girlfriend was in the vehicle with him and claimed ownership of the explosive. She was arrested and charged in connection with that stop.