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Off-Duty LAPD Officer Shot Trying To Stop Graffiti Incident

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An off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer was killed Saturday morning after telling a young man to stop spreading graffiti.

Officer Juan Diaz, 24, was identified by a motorcycle officer who arrived on scene around 1 a.m. after reports of gunfire in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, according to the Associated Press.

Diaz, who served two years with LAPD, was at a taco stand with his girlfriend and two brothers when he noticed a man making graffiti nearby and told him to stop. (RELATED: Trump Responds To NYPD Officers Being Doused With Buckets Of Water: ‘A Total Disgrace’)

The vandalism suspect left the scene and returned shortly after, flashing a gun beneath his shirt, with several other men and started shooting, killing Diaz and wounding one other man. The shooter claimed allegiance to a gang in the area, ABC7 Bay Area reported.

“Today, we mourn the tragic murder of Police Officer II Juan Diaz. Officer Diaz was a dedicated public servant and Angeleno that put service to others above all else. The void his loss leaves within our ranks will not soon be filled,” the LAPD HQ Twitter account wrote Saturday, along with a photo of Diaz.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore tweeted, “We mourn the tragic loss of a young officer killed in an act of senseless violence and ask for our community’s support in finding his killer.” (RELATED: ‘Police Haters’ Taunt Officers At Scene Of Line-Of-Duty Shooting That Killed Female Rookie)

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement, “The senseless murder of Officer Juan Diaz is a shocking reminder of the dangers that LAPD officers face every moment they wear the badge, and the absolute courage and selflessness with which they uphold the oath each day.”

“My promise is that we will hold them close, stand with them every step of the way — and never tire until we find and prosecute the vicious criminals responsible for this horrific tragedy,” the statement continued.

There was a procession for Diaz on Saturday after his death.

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