Tulare, CA – Tulare Police Department (TPD) Officer Misael “Mase” Aguayo committed suicide while on duty on Tuesday, according to his department.
Officers went out searching for the veteran officer shortly before 4 p.m. on April 4 after TPD dispatch was unable to reach him over the radio or by phone during his shift, the department said in a press release on Wednesday.
His fellow officers located him, but he was deceased.
“It is with a heavy heart that Tulare Police Department found the officer deceased of an apparent suicide,” the TPD said. “The amount of grief felt by all officers and staff is tremendous.”
Officer Aguayo was a TPD Explorer in his teens, according to his department.
He was hired as a community service officer in 2004.
“Mase excelled in this assignment, which laid the foundation for his desire to become a sworn police officer,” the TPD said.
Officer Aguayo joined the force as a sworn officer in January of 2006 after graduating from the police academy.
“Mase has had a successful and exciting journey as a police officer,” the TPD said.
He served on multiple specialty units during his 18 years with the agency, including working as a school resource officer, a gang detective, and a 15-year stint on SWAT.
Officer Aguayo, a K9 officer who served alongside his K9 partner Cowboy, was also an assistant team leader on SWAT.
He had recently begun a new assignment as a homeless assistance liaison officer.
“Mase has been a shining star in this department since the beginning,” the TPD said. “His cheerful and upbeat personality was contagious to say the least. Mase will forever be in our hearts and there are no words to express the sadness felt by all of us.”
Officer Aguayo leaves behind his loving family, including his four children, according to his department.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Tulare Police Department Officer Misael “Mase” Aguayo, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.