Fallen San Diego Police Department (SDPD) officer Jonathan "JD" De Guzman was honored during a ceremony celebrating San Diego's heroes on Tuesday.
The tribute was part of the "Honoring our Regions Heroes" ceremony at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido.
Officer De Guzman and Officer Wade Irwin were gunned down during a traffic stop in July. De Guzman was shot multiple times, at point-blank range in his patrol vehicle and died from his injuries. Officer Irwin continues to make a recovery from his injuries.
Officer De Guzman's son, Jonathan Jr. De Guzman, was watching as his father was honored posthumously.
“It’s hard, of course,” said Jonathan. “There are days I think I’m fine, totally fine. There are times in class when I'm at home where it just feels weird and I know my dad isn’t there anymore.”
A two minute video tribute during the ceremony showed slices of Officer De Guzman's life, from childhood to having his own family, to his time as a SDPD officer.
De Guzman's family took to the stage accepting a plaque and a donation to help the family.
His 17-year-old son Jonathan talked about how much he appreciates his father's brothers in blue becoming an extended family.
“Even though my dad is gone they're like, it’s like another way I can have my dad’s presence with me," he said. "So the police department means a lot.”
Jonathan made the audience laugh as he talked about how they often check on the family, offering rides even when they're not needed.
His family talked about how difficult the past two months have been for their family.
"I try to stay strong. I try to stay motivated and determined on what I want and my goals are to continue my dad’s legacy," Jonathan said.
Jonathan says he does not think he wants to be a police officer, but he definitely is interested in a career helping others.
He says he has learned a lot about his dad in the two months since his death.
Now he’s hoping people in the community learn police are people too.
“I want everyone to know every police officer is a person too. Everyone always has negative views toward cops and people don’t understand that they're people and they have families and their own goals," he said. "They're not just people in uniform.”