CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- 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.
The legislation that allowed for the name change was proposed by Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego, and signed into law by then-President Barack Obama.
"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,'' SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman told the crowd. "J.D. never wavered in his commitment. He never flinched or questioned his decision on why he became a police officer.''
De Guzman was shot five times at point-blank range July 28 during a late- night pedestrian stop in the 3700 block of Acacia Grove Way, just east of the Interstate 5/state Route 15 interchange 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.
The slain officer's teenage son said he was gratified by the government honor bestowed on his late father, who is also survived by his wife, another child and his parents.
"I don't really go to the post office that often, but I do pass by here sometimes.'' Jed De Guzman said. "I just feel really happy and pleased, because I feel like it's going to uphold his legacy for the San Diego community.''
The teen's father was a decorated 16-year SDPD veteran who "always raised the bar and cared deeply for his community,'' Zimmerman said.