Memorial service to be held for SDPD officer who died last year

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Former police officer and catcher for the San Diego padres Dan Walters is honored during the game with the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 21, 2004 at Petco Park in San Diego, California. Walters’s baseball career was cut short in 1996 when he suffered a severe spinal injury while diving for a ball during Spring Training. Walters later became a police officer and was shot in a gun battle on Nov. 12, 2003, suffering further injury as a passing car struck him after being shot. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

SAN DIEGO — A law enforcement memorial service will be held Wednesday for a professional baseball player-turned-police officer who died last year, the San Diego Police Department announced Tuesday.

Officer Dan Walters, the 53-year-old former lawman and one-time Padres catcher, was paralyzed from the neck down in a 2003 on-duty shooting while on patrol in San Diego. On the night of Nov. 12, the SDPD said 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 onto the street, where a passing vehicle hit him, leaving him with two crushed cervical vertebrae.

SDPD said despite many rehabilitation efforts, Walters remained a quadriplegic. He underwent numerous medical procedures until his death on April 23, 2020.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the police funeral had to be canceled last year. Wednesday’s memorial service is scheduled to start at 9 a.m.

There will be a police procession from a staging area at San Diego State University to Shadow Mountain Church then the service will be held at Shadow Mountain Church at 2100 Greenfield Drive in El Cajon.

City News Service contributed to this story.

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