Widow of San Diego police officer killed in line of duty shares her story

Jane De Guzman: "All he wants is to go home"
Posted at 4:58 AM, May 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-28 07:43:13-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - For the first time, Jane De Guzman shared how she and her family are coping after the murder of her husband, San Diego police Officer Jonathan "JD" De Guzman.

"When I wake up in the morning, even [through] the pain I have, I have to get up and have my kids happy," Jane De Guzman told 10News in an interview at her South Bay home.

Jane and JD's love story is one many immigrant families know. They met in San Diego, not long after moving from the Philippines. They had little in their pockets, but their hearts were full of hope.

Jane laughed when she recounted their first date at Burger King. She joked it was one in La Jolla, so at least it was the fancy one.

Jane said JD felt a huge sense of achievement when he joined the San Diego Police Department about 16 years ago.

"He takes his job seriously. He likes to work," Jane said.

He talked about the dangers he faced but never went into specifics because he did not want to scare her.

"All he wants is to go home," said Jane.

July 28th, 2016 -- Jane still cannot explain why that day she held on a little longer.

Longer hugs, longer kisses.

"That morning, I kissed him three times," Jane said.

It was the last time she saw her husband alive.

De Guzman and his partner, Officer Wade Irwin, were working with the Gang Suppression Team when they stopped a pedestrian in the area of Acacia Grove Way in City Heights. Prosecutors say Jesse Michael Gomez immediately opened fire on the two officers.

De Guzman, still in the patrol car, was shot several times. Irwin was also hit and seriously injured.

The alleged shooter was injured and taken to the hospital. He faces murder and attempted murder charges.

Jane, at home that night, heard about the shooting through a news alert on her phone.

"I've been texting him, calling him. 'Hon, are you OK? Hon, are you OK?'" Jane recounted.

No answer.

"He's going home, he's going home because he promised me he's going home that night," she told 10News reporter Melissa Mecija, as she wiped away tears.

Jane was still holding her phone when SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman knocked on her door.

Now, Jane is surrounded by JD's photos, awards, and gifts from friends and strangers. The memories hang throughout the front room of their home. It is a room that gives her comfort, but at times reminds her of her pain.

"The last word I heard [from] him was 'I love you, hon,'" Jane said. "I think that's the most important thing you have to say to someone ... you never know."

A wife, whose heart once so full of hope, was now broken.

"My kids, what will happen to my kids? How will I do it?" she remembers thinking after the shooting.

The answer, she soon found out, was with love from friends, JD's brothers and sisters in blue, and people she’s never met.

"I have this community that I don't even know ... praying for us," Jane said.

They made sure her family was not forgotten.

One of those examples was JD's fellow officers stepping in to take daughter Amira to her school dance.

"I feel really thankful for them because they're helping me go through those things that I already did with my dad but he couldn't do it this year," Amira said.

Amira is preparing for middle school, and older brother Jed is getting ready to graduate from high school and head to college.

Jane said she hopes the community knows how grateful their family is.

"I'm not a strong person, but because of them I became one," Jane said.