South Sound News

Family of fallen officer: He ‘will be a hero forever'

The family of fallen Tacoma police officer Reginald "Jake" Gutierrez released a public statement on Monday.

"We would like to personally thank the City of Tacoma for the outpouring of love that has been shown for my brother Officer Jake Gutierrez.  We are humbled by the amount of support he has received from the community and the love we have received from his family in blue.  It is quite evident that he has had a tremendous impact on the community.  Although we cannot turn back the clock, I hope everyone can find comfort in the fact that my brother loved his job-he ran towards danger while others ran away.  He was my hero before this happened and will be a hero forever in this community.  With a heavy heart my family would personally like to say thank you." - Antoinette Gutierrez

>>See our breaking coverage of the shooting and standoff here.

A memorial service call has been scheduled for Friday. KIRO 7 News will stream the service on all our digital platforms.

It will be held at the Tacoma Dome at 1 p.m. and will be open to the public.

Gutierrez. 45. was fatally shot last week during a domestic violence call in Tacoma. The following day, the suspect in his shooting, Bruce Johnson, was shot and killed by an officer, ending an hours-long standoff.

>> Related: Suspect in Tacoma shooting exhibited 'odd behavior'

Remembering the fallen officer:

Citizens placed their hands over their hearts during Gutierrez’s nine-minute long procession from the hospital to the medical examiner on Wednesday.

>>PHOTOS: Mourners leave flowers for fallen Tacoma officer

Tacoma police officer dies in the line of duty, Nov. 30, 2016

"We've suffered a great loss." >>

Posted by KIRO 7 News on Thursday, December 1, 2016

In addition to an outpouring of support on social media, people are paying respects by stopping by the Tacoma Police headquarters and leaving flowers and mementos to honor him.

>>See our breaking coverage of the shooting and standoff here.

Gutierrez was a model police officer with children and a fiancé, Tacoma Chief Don Ramsdell said.

“I had the privilege … to work around Gutierrez his entire career. He is a model police officer. He’s highly dedicated to his profession, he’s highly dedicated to his community. And he demonstrated that every day that he came to work," Ramsdell said.

Ramsdell said a fund for Gutierrez's family was being established, and flags would be at half-staff. Gutierrez's partner was given leave after the shooting.

>> Related: How to donate for fallen Tacoma officer Jake Gutierrez

Tacoma police spokeswoman Loretta Cool confirmed Gutierrez's death around 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

"We've suffered a great loss, and I think the community has suffered a great loss. And I don't know how to put that into words other than to say that everyone here appreciates the kind thoughts and the prayers that are going out to us. … Everyone on our police department knows everyone. And, yes: Everybody will feel it," Cool said.

In an emotional gathering, dozens of people came together for a vigil on Thursday night to honor Gutierrez.

On Friday morning, a flag flew between ladder trucks for a 4-mile procession from the medical examiner to the funeral home.

>>Photos: Procession for fallen TPD officer Jake Guitierrez

How the shooting happened:

Police said the incident started Wednesday afternoon when animal-control officers were working near a house in Tacoma’s Eastside neighborhood. They were approached by a woman who said her husband had locked her out and taken her phone.

>>See our breaking coverage of the shooting and standoff here.

The officers called police.

Officer Gutierrez and his partner went inside the home. As Gutierrez reached the top of the stairs in attempt to speak with the man, the officer was shot, Tacoma Police Chief Tom Ramsdell said.

His partner led the suspect’s wife out of the house.

Croskey, who was letting the gunman and his wife live in the home until she sold it, was in the basement to collect items, she told KIRO 7 News. She barricaded herself in the bathroom during the shooting and escaped.

Croskey owns the home and said she attends church with the gunman. She said Bruce Randall Johnson, 38, fired shots first.

“I don’t want to hear anything about black lives matter, because all lives matter." A woman who was inside the home during a shooting that killed a Tacoma officer says the suspect fired the first shot. >> "I want to say the Tacoma Police Department handled this matter with such professionalism... despite one of their own being shot," she said.

Posted by KIRO 7 News on Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Croskey did not share much information as to not interfere with Tacoma Police Department's investigation, but she did share this:

“I don’t want to hear anything about black lives matter, because all lives matter. I want to say the Tacoma Police Department handled this matter with such professionalism... despite one of their own being shot," she said.

Gutierrez was pronounced dead hours after the shooting.

As officers saluted outside Tacoma General for Gutierrez’s procession, devastated law enforcement officers worked at the scene of the shooting where gunman Johnson refused to surrender.

By 4 p.m., officers stormed into the house. Johnson used two children, an 6-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl, as human shields.

SWAT officers were able to separate at one child from Johnson after he made threats against the children.

The relationship of the children to Johnson is not yet known.

A deputy got a clean shot at Johnson, firing one round that killed him.

Johnson was arrested in 2015 for investigation of assault/intimidation with a weapon.

KIRO 7's news partners at KIRO 7 Radio confirmed that Johnson was fired morning before the shooting.

His work sent him a voice mail saying he was fired.

Johnson apparently worked at a barber shop.

The deputy who shot the suspect, as well as everyone who was involved in the gunfight earlier, is on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in such investigations.

At one point there were 185 officers, deputies and troopers at the scene from surrounding agencies, including some outside Pierce county.

Team coverage of Tacoma officer shot and killed:

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