The community is invited to take part in a BBQ fundraiser hosted outside the Cerritos Sheriff's Station Tuesday to help raise funds for an El Monte boxing and fitness gym named after a Lakewood Sheriff's deputy who was killed during an shooting investigation in Hawaiian Gardens in 2005.
The Oct. 23 event begins at 11 a.m. (until all food is sold out) and will be held outside the Cerritos Station, next to City Hall. The BBQ platter -- which includes carne asada, chicken, rice, beans, chips and a drink -- cost $7.00.
All proceeds will go to the Jerry Ortiz Memorial Boxing & Youth Fitness Gym, which is "dedicated to enriching the quality of life for children and at-risk youth in the San Gabriel Valley area by promoting physical activity and good sportsmanship in a safe environment," according to the gym's website.
Fundraiser Helps Honor Memory of Deputy Killed in the Line of Duty in Hawaiian Garden
On June 24, 2005, deputy Jerry Ortiz, 35, was investigating an attack in which a man was shot in the back while doing yard work at a Hawaiian Gardens home four days earlier.
Ortiz was questioning a woman about the shooting in front of her apartment, while the suspect in the shooting -- Jose Luis Orozco, a known 29-year-old gang member -- hid behind a door and shot the deputy in the head. Orozco fled and was eventually found by deputies hiding in a bathtub at a nearby residence a few hours later. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.
During Orozco's sentencing, Chela Ortiz, who married the deputy three weeks prior to the slaying, addressed her husband's killer.
"Our Jerry is in heaven. We will see him again ... His memory will live on ... You will always be remembered as a coward,'' she said.
Ortiz was a 15-year veteran with the sheriff's department and a member of the anti-gang detail at the Lakewood Sheriff's Station, where he received several commendations, including a Medal of Valor. Ortiz was also an avid boxer and an Army veteran. Along with his wife Chela, he is survived by his sons, Jeremy and Jacob.