Slain longtime firefighter laid to rest in Molino

Northwest Florida

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — More than a week has passed since former Molino Fire Chief and Navarre Beach Fire Rescue Captain Gary Diamond was murdered.

Wednesday morning, he was laid to rest.

Diamond’s funeral service took place at Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, with many of his colleagues taking turns saying kind words about him.

“Gary was a sincere, honest, compassionate man who loved serving his community and helping others,” said Navarre Beach Fire Rescue Capt. Sean Hughes. “Gary Diamond, you were a great guy who helping others was just second nature.”

Deputies say Diamond was killed protecting his family, during a domestic dispute on Dec. 26.

Jared Clakley, 30, was booked into the Escambia County Jail and charged with Diamond’s murder. Jail records show Clakely has a long arrest history in Escambia County. He’s also charged with assault, battery, and possession of a deadly weapon.

“(Diamond) was a hero to many and will be forever remembered as one he sacrificed all he had for his family,” said Molino Fire Deputy Chief Henry Hiebert.

Hiebert said during Diamond’s service, he wanted to add a little humor to his remarks. So, he told a story about Diamond’s fear of snakes.

“One thing I remember of Gary was he was deathly afraid of snakes,” he said “I remember somebody walking into the firehouse with a V-belt one time, he slipped up behind him and threw it around his shoulder. He almost made a new door getting out before he realized it wasn’t a snake.”

After the services, Diamond’s casket was fittingly loaded into the back of fire engine and taken to a plot in Molino so he could be laid to rest.

His family held a gathering a Louie’s bar on Molino Road to celebrate the life of a man taken too soon.

“He was a great guy,” said Josh Johnson, Diamond’s nephew. “He’d do anything for anyone. He’d take the shirt off his back. He was very loving and caring. We’re definitely going to miss him.”

A fundraiser is in the works to help raise money for Diamond’s family.


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