The family of Tacoma police officer Reginald “Jake” Gutierrez on Monday thanked the community for the love and support shown since he was fatally shot while responding to a domestic dispute on the city’s East Side.
“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,” his sister, Antoinette Gutierrez, said in a statement. “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.”
Gutierrez, 45, died Wednesday while responding to a domestic dispute. His killer, Bruce R. Johnson II, was shot by a Pierce County sheriff’s SWAT team member early Thursday after an 11-hour standoff.
A public memorial service to honor and remember Gutierrez, a 17-year veteran of the department, will be at 1 p.m. Friday at the Tacoma Dome.
The procession will begin about 10:30 a.m. at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The route will go from the JBLM North Gate, then north onto South Tacoma Way before turning onto East D Street and on to the Tacoma Dome.
The procession will stop at South Tacoma Way and South Pine Street to allow Tacoma police personnel to join the procession.
Roads along the procession route will remain open until the procession begins, after which the route will close.
Businesses and residents along the procession route should expect traffic congestion from the start of the procession until 3 p.m., the department said.
Gutierrez’s body was escorted Friday to a funeral home in Tacoma, then moved Saturday to Mountain View Funeral Home in Lakewood at his family’s request.
Gutierrez is survived by three daughters, a granddaughter, his fiancée and a large extended family.
The memorial service will be held at the Tacoma Dome, where services for fallen officers have taken place in recent years.
The public is welcome to attend. The Police Department said it is working on alternate public transportation for the public.
Also Monday, the city announced it will open the Lighthouse Center so residents can gather and discuss the loss of Gutierrez.
“The city and its residents are in mourning,” Neighborhood and Community Services Director Nadia Chandler-Hardy said. “We want to provide a safe space for people to come and talk through their feelings and to find solace with their neighbors.”
Grief counselors and clergy will be available to help guide the conversation.
The center, at 5016 A St., will be open from 6 to 8 every night this week for those who want to gather.
Staff writer Kenny Ocker contributed to this report.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653
The Tacoma Police Department has had many inquiries from the community about how to help in the wake of this horrible tragedy. Two funds have been established.
If you wish to support his legacy, donate to the Officer Jake Gutierrez Fund at any Wells Fargo Bank or online at tpcrimestoppers.com.
If you wish to donate to the memorial service, you can make checks out to the Tacoma Police Department. Drop them off at any police station or mail them to Tacoma Police Department, 3701 S. Pine St., Tacoma WA 98409.
There have been reports of fake Go Fund Me memorial pages for Gutierrez, officials said. The real funds are at Wells Fargo and Crime Stoppers.
Read more at tinyurl.com/gw9etmd.