The Dublin community is coming together this weekend for the annual tree lighting in honor of Alameda County Sheriff's Office Deputy John Paul Monego, who died after being shot while responding to a robbery in progress in Dublin 23 years ago.
The ceremony in memory of Monego, who was the first law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty in city history, provides an opportunity "to show Deputy Monego's family that we will never forget the ultimate sacrifice he made for this community," Dublin Police Services Capt. Nate Schmidt told the Weekly.
"Whenever we lose an officer, it is extremely tragic for the family, the members of the agency and the community. Usually, we only have one chance to show our outpouring of support during the funeral service," Schmidt said.
"Given the time of year that this tragedy occurred, we started the tree lighting tradition to keep John’s memory alive in our hearts and minds," the captain added. "I encourage all members of the community to join Dublin Police in honoring Deputy John Monego."
The tree lighting will take place in the lobby of Dublin police headquarters on Saturday evening (Dec. 11) -- 23 years to the day since the fateful robbery at the Outback Steakhouse in central Dublin.
Monego, a sheriff's deputy assigned to DPS, was responding to a 911 hangup at the restaurant on Regional Street late at night on Dec. 11, 1998. Unbeknownst to him, the hangup call had actually occurred during a strong-arm robbery with hostages in progress.
Monego was the second deputy to arrive on scene; the first deputy had gone inside the restaurant to investigate but she was overpowered by three robbers, who then took her gun, according to the "Officer Down Memorial Page," which honors law enforcement personnel killed on duty nationwide and retells their stories.
As Monego approached the front door, an armed robber opened fire through a glass window, striking the deputy in the chest just above his protective vest. As Monego fell, the shooter walked outside and shot the deputy five more times at close range.
The culprits fled the scene but were later arrested after a short pursuit. Each would be convicted of various counts at trial.
Monego, 33, was transported to a local hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after midnight on Dec. 12, 1998. He left behind a wife and toddler son.
The 23rd annual Deputy John Monego Tree Lighting Ceremony will be back in-person this year, at 6 p.m. in the DPS lobby at 6361 Clark Ave. in Dublin. Light refreshments will be served. To learn more, visit dublin.ca.gov.
on Dec 11, 2021 at 7:05 am
on Dec 11, 2021 at 7:05 am
I remember this sad day and have not forgotten his sacrifice. May he rest in peace today