Jake Gutierrez was the only Tacoma police officer that Shelbie Boyd would let her mom ride with.
When Boyd started with the Tacoma Police Department in March 2006, she and Gutierrez were paired together in the East Precinct.
And when Boyd’s mother, Crystal Wyant, took the department’s “Family Academy” soon after that, Boyd made sure she was matched with Gutierrez.
“Yep, he was my officer,” said Wyant. “My second son.”
Gutierrez was fatally shot Wednesday evening in an East Tacoma home while responding to a domestic violence incident, the first Tacoma officer killed in the line of duty in more than a decade.
The man who killed Gutierrez, Bruce Randall Johnson II, then barricaded himself inside the home with two children for an hourslong standoff that ended early Thursday when a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy fatally shot him.
Boyd and Gutierrez worked in the same car until she became a community liaison officer in 2011.
Boyd was still crying Thursday evening after a vigil outside the East 56th Street police substation, collecting hugs, even as she told one of them she was “all cried out.”
“You know, as an officer, you kind of have to put on the police hat and you try and emotionally navigate through it,” she said. “It’s not something we practice every day.”
Gutierrez took being family oriented to another level, Boyd said. The father of three made it a point to ask not just how her kids were doing, but wanted to see pictures, too.
“He knew your kids, you knew his,” she said.
During the family academy, where family members learn what different duties Tacoma police officers perform, Gutierrez ended up driving Wyant around one night, she said. After that, he made a point to stop in the other class sessions to see how she was doing.
“He made me feel so at ease with my daughter working with Tacoma Police Department,” Wyant said. “I’m really glad I got to meet my officer.”
Gutierrez took pride in his East Side community and in looking out for its residents and his comrades, Wyant said.
“He was funny, caring and brave. He had a huge heart,” Wyant said. “That’s the Jake I know.”
After the vigil for Gutierrez on Thursday evening, Boyd commiserated with another law enforcement officer. She started to cry again.
“I lost a brother, but they lost a hero,” Boyd said.