LOS ANGELES (CNN NEWSOURCE) – A California community is in mourning after the death of a sheriff’s deputy.
It happened when she was off-duty and died doing what she loved — helping others in need of assistance.
“Yes, I’m very proud of my daughter, I’m very proud. And there will always be a spot in my heart for her and I will definitely miss her always,” Daniel Leist said.
The pride and love Daniel Leist feels for her his daughter is palpable.
He says he and his wife weren’t surprised to learn that Amber Leist was helping someone else when she was killed.
“From a young girl, she was always someone who stood up for those who were less fortunate, those were vulnerable. And when she came into the Sheriff’s Department, she took on that servant’s heart,” Leist said.
41-year-old LA County Sheriff’s Detective Amber Leist was off duty when she was killed Sunday.
Security video shows what happened at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Whitsett Avenue in Valley Village around 11 a.m.
Detective Leist was in the area when she saw an elderly woman stumble in the crosswalk as she tried to cross the street.
The detective put her car in park and ran to help the woman cross the street.
But as she tried to return to her car, she was struck by an oncoming vehicle which investigators say had the green light.
Detective Leist later died from her injuries.
The driver involved in the collision stopped at the scene and is cooperating with investigators.
“My daughter was the epitome of service and protection. Just shows me the dignity and character that not only she had but that was groomed and trained into her in her 12 years of service in this department,” Leist said.
On Monday, flowers adorn Detective Leist’s desk and the hallways of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s station.
The 12-year LASD veteran has been here for the last five years.
Her captain says she loved by her colleagues and her community.
“Amber was the go-to person we needed when we had a person we were having a hard time getting through in the community. A person in distress, Amber always knew how to calm the situation. Her ability to connect with people was her greatest gift,” Captain Edward C. Ramirez said.
“You finished the race and I’m so very proud of you. You did good. You did good, sweetheart,” Leist said.
Before working at the sheriff’s station, Deputy Leist first worked at the North County Correctional Facility.