South Bay post office named for fallen SDPD officer - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

South Bay post office named for fallen SDPD officer

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CHULA VISTA (CBS 8/CNS) - A South Bay post office was renamed Monday in honor of a San Diego police officer killed last summer in a shootout in a Southcrest-area neighborhood. 

The facility at 830 Kuhn Drive in Chula Vista was dedicated as the Jonathan "J.D." De Guzman Post Office Building during a late-morning ceremony at the mail-processing complex just west of Scobee Park, not far from the Eastlake home of the late officer's family. 

"It may have been J.D.'s final moments that made headlines, but it will be the way J.D. cared for people that will ensure his legacy will ensure the test of time," said SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman at the dedication ceremony. 

"We gather here with family, with friends and colleagues of San Diego police Officer Jonathan `J.D.' De Guzman to remember the sacrifice he made for our city and for our country and for our community that he loved so dearly,"  she told the crowd. "J.D. never wavered in his commitment. He never flinched or questioned his decision on why he became a police officer." 

With dozens of police officers, family members, and even his former partner looking on De Guzman was honored Monday in a way his family hopes will resonate with the entire community 

"To others, my father's name will remind them of sacrifice police officers and others make to keep people safe, but to me my father's name will remind me how amazing he was as my father and an inspiration when it came to following my dreams," said De Guzman's son Jed. 

Officer De Guzman was living out his dream of being a police officer the night he was killed. 

De Guzman was shot five times at point-blank range July 28 during a late-night pedestrian stop in southeast San Diego. The attack happened so quickly the 43-year-old officer didn't have time to draw his gun, according to prosecutors

De Guzman's gang-unit partner, Officer Wade Irwin, also was seriously wounded but was able to return fire, critically wounding their alleged assailant, ex-con Jesse Michael Gomez. 

Gomez, 56, has recovered and remains jailed on $5 million bail while awaiting trial in the case. A special-circumstance allegation of murder of a police officer makes Gomez eligible for the death penalty if convicted. 

Since then, the community's outpouring of support has never wavered, a clear sign - his son said - of just how special J.D.  was. 

"Just being his son, I'm really proud of what he's done for the community," Jed said.  

Following his death - and after hearing countless stories told about those contributions  - Congresswoman Susan Davis spearheaded the effort to rename the Eastlake post office after J.D. - a facility he visited often. 

"I felt there was an opportunity to honor him and to - I think - help the heartbreak that the family was experiencing with something that would be his legacy here in the community," said Davis.  

Before he left office, former President Barack Obama approved the proclamation - leading to Monday's dedication. 

A surprise to no one - especially those who knew him best. 

"Ever since my father passed, my number one goal has become to maintain my father's legacy, but with this post office named after my father I'm more assured than ever it will be kept alive," said Jed De Guzman. 


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