SAN DIEGO (AP)Dan Walters, who played for the San Diego Padres for parts of two seasons, has died from complications of injuries he suffered as a police officer in 2003. He was 53.
Walters’ death is considered a line-of-duty fatality.
”Dan grew up locally, played professional baseball here in San Diego and proudly served his city as a police officer,” the San Diego Police Department said in a statement. ”He will forever be remembered by the members of this Department.”
Walters attended suburban Santana High and played with the Padres in 1992 and 1993. He later played in the Colorado and Oakland organizations but never returned to the majors. His playing career ended when he suffered a severe spine injury while diving for a ball during a spring training drill.
He joined the police department in 1998.
Walters was paralyzed on Nov. 12, 2003, when he was shot in the neck during a struggle with a domestic violence suspect and struck by a passing car, crushing two cervical vertebrae. The suspect was killed by officers. Walters used a wheelchair until his death Thursday.
A San Diego police dispatcher announced Walters’ death, or ”end of watch,” over the radio.
A video posted by the department showed two officers standing near Walters’ flag-draped body on his bed. As officers moved Walters’ body on a gurney, a group of officers, including Chief David Nisleit, stood at attention in the driveway.
Eight motorcycle officers and three SUVs escorted a van carrying Walters’ body.