Family Members, Officers Honor Slain L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Solano at Funeral

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Family members and hundreds of law enforcement officers honored  Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Solano at a memorial service Monday morning at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles.

The 13-year Sheriff’s Department veteran was shot in the back of his head while off-duty at a Jack in the Box in Alhambra on June 10, authorities said. He was hospitalized and taken off life support two days later. He was 50 years old.

Mourners including family and friends packed the church in downtown L.A. Solano was described as a man of love who accepted the risks of being a deputy because it meant serving his community.

“Joseph was a one of a kind man who took care of others before himself,” Solano’s longtime girlfriend Julianna Loza said during her eulogy. The couple had just purchased their dream house and Solano spent his free time compiling notes for his next home improvement project, she said.

Despite his dangerous job, Solano inspired Loza by remaining upbeat and focusing on the positive things in his life, like his mother, son and stepdaughter, she said.

“He always had a way of comforting me and reassuring me that everything was going to be all right,” Loza said.

Solano kept his fellow deputies smiling with his one-liners and confident demeanor, earning him the nickname J.C. — or Joe Cool, Sheriff’s Captain Tania Plunkett said.

“He was full of life, he loved his family and everyone around him,” Plunkett said.

A Utah man has been charged with murder in Solano’s death, as well as in the killing of Dmitry Koltsov, a Russian snowboarder.

Police haven’t identified a motive for the seemingly random attacks just an hour apart on June 10.

The 31-year-old Koltsov was skateboarding with friends in downtown L.A. when he was shot in the head. Investigators said after shooting Kostov, Nelson drove to suburban Alhambra and shot Solano.

The following roads closed Monday for Solano’s funeral:

6:30 a.m.: westbound lanes of West Temple Street, between North Grand Avenue and North Hill Street; eastbound lanes will remain temporarily open
7:30 a.m.: all north and southbound lanes of North Hill Street, between Temple Street and Ord Street will be closed
7:30 a.m.: all of Temple Street between north Grand Avenue and North Hill Street will be closed

A funeral procession followed the memorial service, beginning northbound on North Grand Avenue before continuing east on Cesar Estrada Chavez Avenue, south on Eastern Avenue and west on Whittier Boulevard.

Solano was laid to rest at the Calvary Cemetery in East L.A.

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