EL CAJON, Calif. (CNS) – A funeral for former San Diego Padres catcher turned San Diego Police Department Officer Dan Walters was held Wednesday in El Cajon more than one year after his death.
“My ask of my brothers and sisters never forget Dan Walters,” SDPD Chief David Nisleit told mourners at Shadow Mountain Church. “Never forget the sacrifice Dan Walters made. Never forget what Dan Walters stood for.”
Walters died April 23, 2020, from complications of injuries he suffered in a 2003 shootout. He was 53.
“While time buries the pain we feel, we will never forget you and the times we were blessed to have you,” retired SDPD Sgt. John Lammarino said. “I miss you every day. I love you Danny boy.”
The Padres paid tribute to Walters before Wednesday’s game against the Miami Marlins at Petco Park.
Walters, a Santana High School graduate who played for Padres in 1992 and 1993, joined the San Diego Police Department in 1998, two years after his baseball career ended with the Edmonton Trappers of the Pacific Coast League.
On the night of Nov. 12, 2003, Walters got caught up in a shootout as he and his partner were providing backup for another officer during a traffic stop of a domestic violence suspect on 43rd Street in Southcrest.
Walters was struck in the neck by gunfire and fell to onto the street, where a passing vehicle hit him, leaving him with two crushed cervical vertebrae.
Despite extensive rehabilitation during which he regained some movement in his upper body, Walters had to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life, according to the San Diego Police Officers Association, the union representing the department’s rank-and-file officers.
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