Jul 1, 2005

Officer down


Jerry Ortiz was the kind of deputy whose flashy grin could make even the suspects he was booking smile.

It was his good humor and love of family that fellow deputies remembered as Ortiz, killed while searching for a suspect one week ago today, was eulogized on a misty Thursday morning at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles.

It was the largest funeral to date at the nearly 3-year-old cathedral, with 4000 people inside and an additional 2,000 listening to speakers outside, cathedral spokeswoman Carolina Guevara said. The motorcade escorting Ortiz's body from the cathedral to an East Los Angeles cemetery was so large, with more than 2,000 vehicles, that it took more than 90 minutes for the motorcade to make the five-mile trip.

Ortiz, 35, a 15-year Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy, was shot in the head June 24 at a Hawaiian Gardens apartment complex while searching for a suspect wanted on suspicion of attempted murder. Jose Luis Orozco, 27, a known gang member and the man whom Ortiz was looking for, was arrested hours after the shooting and is the main suspect in the deputy's killing.

"We knew he went out and tried to change people's lives," said Msgr. James J. Loughnane, a pastor at St. Denis Catholic Church in Diamond Bar, where Ortiz was an usher for the 10:30 a.m. Mass on Sundays.

Outgoing Mayor James K. Hahn, incoming Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton joined thousands of other law enforcement officers from throughout California for the two-hour service celebrated by Cardinal Roger M. Mahony.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Meter