MOLINO, Fla. (WKRG) — Family, friends, and fellow first responders are mourning the loss of a beloved former fire chief in Molino. Authorities say Chief Gary Diamond was murdered in his home in a domestic incident early Saturday morning.
He reportedly stepped in front of the suspect’s gun to shield family members. Inside the Molino Fire House hangs a picture of Gary Diamond. Much like his name, people say his passion, dedication, and kindness also sparkled like a jewel.
“He was a great guy, always happy, always in a great mood, always happy to see him,” said friend Roy Bradley. This is a tragedy that both saddens and angers the people who live around this tight-knit area of Escambia County Florida.
“It’s a big family around here so to lose someone like him, we never would have thought that could happen especially to a guy like that,” said Diamond’s nephew Aaron Allen. People use words like honor, loyalty, and integrity to describe the late Captain.
“I’ve lost a lot of friends, dear brothers of mine and to lose Gary it’s like losing a part of my soul,” said friend John Romaker. His fire career in Escambia County started way back in 1982. Diamond rose through the ranks and in later years taught other firefighters and returned to volunteering
“His public service, his dedication to others his willingness to teach others it can’t be rivaled,” said interim Escambia County Fire Chief Paul Williams. Deputies in Escambia County Florida arrested 30-year-old Jared Clakley and charged him with murder. Clakley has a long arrest history in Escambia County. Public tributes are being planned for Captain Diamond but dates and times have not been set.