Molino firefighters gather to mourn beloved former chief

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MOLINO, Fla. (WKRG) — The Molino community is mourning the loss of a former fire chief. Authorities say Gary Diamond was killed in a domestic incident early Saturday morning and died a hero.

Friends who are more like family gathered on Monday, Dec. 28, to remember Gary Diamond.

“There’s very few like him. There was very few ever like him,” Molino Station Capt. Mark Butler said

Most in the fire department go quite a ways back with Diamond. Molino Deputy Chief Henry Hiebert said, “Gary was an assistant chief when I started here in 1987.”

Gary Diamond would light up a room, but the thing that kept coming up was how much he gave back.

“Gary always had a smile, was happy to go and help people whether it was in the fire service, whether it was in the community,” Butler said.

Authorities report Diamond was killed in a domestic incident early Saturday morning. He reportedly shielded family members from the suspect’s gun. A call his department never wanted to get.

Hiebert said, “I knew it. I knew the address. I knew it was his place. Pulled up. It was hard to take that’s just a simple statement.”

Butler said, “You’re eventually going to run in to, run into a call where you know who the person is. You’ve either, they’re either family, they’re close friends, or somebody like Gary who was both family and friend through fire service. It, it’s tough on the folks that go in there and try to do their best to help.”

Firefighters said Diamond’s last request was to ride atop a Molino engine for his last ride. They plan on making it happen.

Hiebert said, “His life, what fire service meant to him, his legacy that a lot of us will remember for a long time.”

30-year-old Jared Clakley was booked into the Escambia County Jail Saturday and is charged with 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.

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