The word first went out at around just before 9 am Friday morning that an LAPD officer had been killed in a dreadful collision with some kind of big rig truck, his partner in the patrol car, was in critical condition.
Later in the day, more information was released. The injured officer was a female, a rookie not long out of the academy. The cop who died was her training officer, a fourteen year veteran on the force, and a family man with two young daughters. Both officers were out of the Hollywood division. The two were reportedly responding to an “unknown trouble” call when they collided with the truck on Loma Vista Drive and Robert Lane, in the hilly area above Sunset Boulevard, not too far from Greystone Mansion.
The rookie’s name was not released. The name of the 40-year-old training officer was, Nicholas Choung Lee, a well-liked Officer III.
The loss of a law enforcement officer, or a firefighter, is a loss for everyone. As family and friends and fellow officers grieve, we join them in their heartbreak.
Coincidentally, many who had never met Nick Lee found that they had just seen the calm, good-looking officer just a few days before in the video birthday card that Chief Charlie Beck and other department members made and sent to cheer up 7-year old, Tyler Seddon, a sweet-faced boy who is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
(In case you didn’t watch the video when we posted it earlier this week, here it is again. If you start at about minute 1:17, you will see as Lee wishes Tyler happy birthday. “I hope you feel better and I wish you well,” he says.)
Seeing Lee, reportedly a devoted dad to his two girls, one likes him immediately.
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I must ask our #LAPD officers to wear a mourning band for our own,” Chief Charlie Beck tweeted at midday on Friday.
Then a little while later, “Thinking of our brothers & sisters @LAPDHollywood during extremely difficult time. We will get through this together.”
And finally: “#LAPD Police Officer III Nicholas Lee, Serial No. 34980. A man of greatness and selflessness. Nick was a great cop. May he rest in peace.”
What Charlie said.