Overpass in Lemoore will memorialize fallen police officer Jonathan Diaz

Jonathan Diaz was killed last year while off-duty at a birthday party in Hanford. He was 31 years old.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Surrounded by photographs, mementos and even the badge and uniform her son would wear daily, Blanca Vasquez, proudly remembers the officer she raised.

"He was a hero," says Blanca Vasquez, mother of officer Jonathan Diaz. "He saved lives."

That heroism went beyond the badge. The father of three volunteered his time as a mentor through youth programs in Lemoore.

Condolences paying tribute to the fallen officer have come in nationwide, with each one prominently displayed in the Diaz family living room.

"He loved helping his family," says brother Juan Diaz. "He loved helping everybody."

Officer Jonathan Diaz was killed in November 2019 while attending a birthday party in Hanford.

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He was one of two people shot while trying to diffuse a violent argument.

Juan says helping others came instinctively to his brother, a quality felt by anyone who met him.

"We can't even believe how much love and support that we're getting," he said.

Diaz began his career with the Huron Police Department before joining Lemoore police in 2016.

Just two years into his career, he was awarded Public Safety Officer of the Year and soon after was promoted to the Major Crimes Task Force.

His legacy will now live beyond those who knew him.

Driving on 198 near 19th Ave., you'll soon pass under the "Officer Jonathan Diaz Memorial Overcrossing."

"I hope people pass by and see it as an inspiration when they see his name," Juan said.

The resolution, introduced by State Senator Melissa Hurtado, won bi-partisan approval with a 37-0 vote.

A fitting tribute to the man who put service above self.

"I want people to always remember him because he helped many people," Blanca said. "He was a great person."
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