LOS ANGELES – Funeral services were held Saturday for Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Detective Amber Leist, who was struck by a vehicle on Jan. 12 after helping an elderly woman cross a busy street in the Los Angeles area.
The service was held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Mosaic Church, 7107 Hollywood Blvd., in Hollywood. [View video below]
“Amber’s commitment to service is a reflection of what the men and women of the sheriff’s department do every day,” said Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
“Amber’s energy was so magnetic,” her partner, Deputy Yensenia Olvera, said.
“Our hearts are broken,” Amber’s father, Daniel Leist, told reporters at a vigil earlier this month. “This is the most heartrending thing you could ever experience. You never think you’re going to lose your baby. But Amber came into this department and she knew what she had to do.”
“She made the ultimate sacrifice, and she knew that going in, she knew that. And I couldn’t be more prouder,” Daniel Leist told NBC4. “Her life ended as she lived her life — serving others.”
Leist, 41, died on Jan. 12.
That day, Leist was off-duty when she saw an elderly woman fall down in a crosswalk while trying to navigate a busy Los Angeles street. She got out of her car and helped the woman to safety. Leist was returning to her vehicle when she was struck by a car near Riverside Drive and Whitsett Avenue. She was taken to a hospital where she died of her injuries.
Leist was a 12-year veteran of the sheriff’s department. She began her career as a sheriff’s deputy at the North County Correctional Facility in Castaic. She was then assigned to the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station before moving to the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, where she moved up the ranks from patrol to detective, according to Sheriff Villanueva.
The sheriff’s department shared on its Twitter page a video tribute to Leist from her classmates at the Sheriff’s Academy that included the caption, “Amber touched everyone w/her positive & uplifting personality. We may not be able to see you, but we know you’ll always be there.”
Leist is survived by her parents, siblings and 17- and 20-year-old sons.