Long Beach, CA – Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) Officer Christopher “Chris” Zamora was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound outside a police substation on Nov. 13.
The 44-year-old officer’s body was discovered inside a vehicle parked outside the LBPD’s east division substation at 3800 East Willow Street shortly after 3 p.m., the Long Beach Post News reported.
“We are heartbroken over the passing of one of our officers, who was found deceased from an apparent suicide on Saturday Afternoon,” the LBPD tweeted on Nov. 14. “Please keep our officers’ family, friends, and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers as they grieve during this very difficult time.”
Officer Zamora served the LBPD for more than 20 years, the Long Beach Post News reported.
“We are heartbroken over the sudden loss of Police Officer Chris Zamora from an apparent suicide,” the Long Beach Police Officers Association (POA) said in a Facebook post. “Chris had a very distinguished career, and was especially noted for his work within the Gang Detail.”
Long Beach City Prosecutor Doug Haubert said Officer Zamora was instrumental in helping develop gang prevention strategies for the prosecutor’s office, the Long Beach Post News reported.
Officer Zamora helped connect gang members with employment assistance programs and organizations that provide free tattoo removal, Haubert noted.
He said Officer Zamora was “beloved by all,” the Long Beach Post News reported.
State Senator Lena Gonzalez said Officer Zamora left a “positive imprint” on the communities he served, and that he “was always uplifting” the youth he worked with in some of Long Beach’s most underserved neighborhoods, according to the paper.
He often worked overtime shifts searching the most desolate areas of the city, looking for people to help, the Long Beach Post News reported.
Officer Zamora’s outreach effort was often carried out alongside Shoshanna Scholar, who operates diversion and harm-reduction programs for Los Angeles County.
The experimental project they were working on enabled Officer Zamora to offer people help instead of only making arrests, provided the suspect followed through with an agreement to meet with a caseworker, the Long Beach Post News reported.
“He was such a special person,” Scholar told the paper.
Haubert said the work Officer Zamora performed made a lasting difference.
“He is responsible for saving lives,” the prosecutor told the Long Beach Post News. “It was such a smart thing to have him embedded in our office. It basically unlocked and unleashed a lot of these ideas.”
Officer Zamora leaves behind his wife and two children.
We are heartbroken over the passing of one of our officers, who was found deceased from an apparent suicide on Saturday Afternoon. Please keep our officers' family, friends, and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers as they grieve during this very difficult time. pic.twitter.com/5usMAmtWNk
— Long Beach PD (CA) (@LBPD) November 14, 2021
Today, my thoughts are with LB Officer Christopher Zamora & his family.
As an LB Councilwoman, I had the honor of working with him in some of LB’s most underserved neighborhoods. He was always uplifting with LB youth and left a positive imprint in our communities…may he RIP. pic.twitter.com/ZIkROqMSrg
— Lena Gonzalez (@SenGonzalez_33) November 14, 2021
Sending our heartfelt condolences to the blue and blood family of Officer Chris Zamora of Long Beach Police Department (CA).
This is the 2nd LEO suicide that we have been made aware of within a week. At this time it doesn't matter how they died, "BUT WHY". pic.twitter.com/SAYa3X90CX
— Rebound911 (@rebound911stl) November 15, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Long Beach Police Department Officer Christopher “Chris” Zamora, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.