View Mobile Site
 

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

 

‘Some things you never forget’

Law enforcement, friends and family gather to honor memory of Deputy Hagop “Jake” Kuredjian

Posted: August 31, 2010 8:32 p.m.
Updated: September 1, 2010 4:30 a.m.
Sheriff's deputies talk next to a police cruiser detailed with the names of more than 1,300 U.S. law enforcement personnel killed since Sept. 11, 2001, Tuesday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills. Sheriff's deputies talk next to a police cruiser detailed with the names of more than 1,300 U.S. law enforcement personnel killed since Sept. 11, 2001, Tuesday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills.
Sheriff's deputies talk next to a police cruiser detailed with the names of more than 1,300 U.S. law enforcement personnel killed since Sept. 11, 2001, Tuesday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills.
Sheriff's Deputy Mike Ascolese, left, and Kevyn Major Howard stand by one of two squad cars customized by Fueled by the Fallen, Tuesday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills. The nonprofit organization, started by Howard, turns vehicles into mobile memorials for law officers and troops killed in the line of duty. Sheriff's Deputy Mike Ascolese, left, and Kevyn Major Howard stand by one of two squad cars customized by Fueled by the Fallen, Tuesday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills. The nonprofit organization, started by Howard, turns vehicles into mobile memorials for law officers and troops killed in the line of duty.
Sheriff's Deputy Mike Ascolese, left, and Kevyn Major Howard stand by one of two squad cars customized by Fueled by the Fallen, Tuesday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills. The nonprofit organization, started by Howard, turns vehicles into mobile memorials for law officers and troops killed in the line of duty.
Sheriff's deputies stand over the grave of Deputy Hagop "Jake" Kuredjian, who was killed during an Aug. 31, 2001, Stevenson Ranch shootout, Tuesday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills. Sheriff's deputies stand over the grave of Deputy Hagop "Jake" Kuredjian, who was killed during an Aug. 31, 2001, Stevenson Ranch shootout, Tuesday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills.
Sheriff's deputies stand over the grave of Deputy Hagop "Jake" Kuredjian, who was killed during an Aug. 31, 2001, Stevenson Ranch shootout, Tuesday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills.
Sheriff's Deputy Dennis Schwartz stands over the grave of Deputy Hagop "Jake" Kuredjian, Tuesday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills. Kuredjian was killed during a shootout in Stevenson Ranch on Aug. 31, 2001. Sheriff's Deputy Dennis Schwartz stands over the grave of Deputy Hagop "Jake" Kuredjian, Tuesday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills. Kuredjian was killed during a shootout in Stevenson Ranch on Aug. 31, 2001.
Sheriff's Deputy Dennis Schwartz stands over the grave of Deputy Hagop "Jake" Kuredjian, Tuesday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills. Kuredjian was killed during a shootout in Stevenson Ranch on Aug. 31, 2001.
Sheriff's Deputy Mike Ascolese takes a photo of Deputy Robert Wagner, left, and Kevyn Major Howard, next to a police cruiser bearing the names of 1,300-plus U.S. law officers killed in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2001, Tuesday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills. Sheriff's Deputy Mike Ascolese takes a photo of Deputy Robert Wagner, left, and Kevyn Major Howard, next to a police cruiser bearing the names of 1,300-plus U.S. law officers killed in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2001, Tuesday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills.
Sheriff's Deputy Mike Ascolese takes a photo of Deputy Robert Wagner, left, and Kevyn Major Howard, next to a police cruiser bearing the names of 1,300-plus U.S. law officers killed in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2001, Tuesday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills.
A sheriff’s cruiser (above right) detailed with the names of 477 Sheriff’s Department personnel killed in the line of duty in California since 1850. A sheriff’s cruiser (above right) detailed with the names of 477 Sheriff’s Department personnel killed in the line of duty in California since 1850.
A sheriff’s cruiser (above right) detailed with the names of 477 Sheriff’s Department personnel killed in the line of duty in California since 1850.
Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Wagner looks at a sheriff’s cruiser detailed with the names of 477 Sheriff’s Department personnel killed in the line of duty in California since 1850. Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Wagner looks at a sheriff’s cruiser detailed with the names of 477 Sheriff’s Department personnel killed in the line of duty in California since 1850.
Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Wagner looks at a sheriff’s cruiser detailed with the names of 477 Sheriff’s Department personnel killed in the line of duty in California since 1850.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Detective Garo Kuredjian pauses next to the grave of his brother Hagop “Jake” Kuredjian during a memorial service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills on Tuesday. Ventura County Sheriff’s Detective Garo Kuredjian pauses next to the grave of his brother Hagop “Jake” Kuredjian during a memorial service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills on Tuesday.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Detective Garo Kuredjian pauses next to the grave of his brother Hagop “Jake” Kuredjian during a memorial service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills on Tuesday.
A A A

HOLLYWOOD HILLS — For some lawmen, the events of Aug. 31, 2001, may as well have happened a day ago — not nearly a decade ago.

It was on that day a friend, and former partner to some, Deputy Hagop “Jake” Kuredjian, was gunned down during a shootout in Stevenson Ranch.

A 17-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, 40-year-old Kuredjian was shot and killed by James Allen Beck during a gunfight that erupted when federal agents served Beck with a search warrant at his westside home.

On Tuesday, a group of deputies gathered at Kuredjian’s grave at Forest Lawn Memorial Park to remember a man described as full of life.

“He was a good man. For him to be remembered like this is an honor to us,” said Ventura County Sheriff’s Detective Garo Kuredjian, whose late brother was 10 years his senior. “He was one of the reasons I chose to become a deputy.”

Nearby, a simple bronze grave marker bore his older brother’s name and the phrase “Here lies a hero.”
Tuesday was an important time to remember a fallen comrade, said sheriff’s Capt. Steve Roller, who heads up the Court Services West Bureau in Van Nuys.

“As deputies, we always support our own, and Jake was a fallen hero,” he said. “Even though I didn’t know Jake personally, we’re all brothers and sisters in this business.”

Punctuating Tuesday’s memorial was the presence of two police cruisers bearing the names of hundreds of fallen law enforcement officers.

The cars are part of Fueled by the Fallen, a nonprofit organization started by actor and photographer Kevyn Major Howard (likely best known for his role as “Rafterman” in the 1987 film “Full Metal Jacket”).

The Los Angeles County Memorial Cruiser, formerly Sheriff Lee Baca’s parade car, bears the names of 477 officers killed in the line of duty in Los Angeles County since 1850 — including Kuredjian. The U.S. Law Enforcement Memorial Cruiser bears the names of 1,300-plus U.S. law officers killed since Sept. 11, 2001. Howard also included Kuredjian’s name on that cruiser.

The cars serve as a sort of rolling memorial to fallen heroes, Howard said.

“It takes (people’s) breath away,” he said. “It makes them stop and think.”

When Aug. 31, 2001, dawned, Kurdejian and Deputy Robert Wagner were both on duty at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. The two had been working together since their days at the Malibu Sheriff’s Station, he said.
Wagner was on the scene as the bullets flew and Kuredjian was killed.

“Some things you never forget,” he said. “It’s like it was yesterday. ... During that, I thought I might never see my kids again.”

The inherent danger of the job is always present, Wagner said, but he noted Kuredjian’s death made him ever more vigilant in keeping up his guard.

“You learn to appreciate life.”   

By 1 p.m., the deputies climbed back into their squad cars and headed out of the memorial park. Their lunch break was over, and they were back on duty.

Comments

Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

 
 

Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...