The Manhattan Beach community recently gathered at the Civic Center Plaza to remember and honor the life and heroism of a 35-year-old motorcycle officer who lost his life in a motorcycle crash on the 405 Freeway while on his way to work.
Officer Chad Swanson, a 13-year veteran of the Manhattan Beach Police Department, was not only a dedicated public servant but a survivor of the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, where he risked his own safety to save lives during the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Swanson’s passing has devastated the tight-knit community, leaving his wife and three young sons in grief.
Chief Rachel Johnson expressed her condolences for the loss.
“This is a time for us to come together as a community, mourn the loss of our friend and colleague, show our support to Officer Swanson’s family and honor the legacy and bravery of Officer Chad Swanson,” Johnson said.
In 2017, Swanson attended the Route 91 Harvest Country music festival in Las Vegas along with four other off-duty Manhattan Beach Police Department officers.
Tragically, one of those officers, Rachael Parker, was among the 58 killed in the mass shooting.
Swanson, despite the chaos and danger, demonstrated courage and selflessness during the event.
As Stephen Paddock fired bullets onto the concertgoers from a 32nd-floor suite at Mandalay Bay, Swanson risked his life to help others, moving through the crowd applying tourniquets and carrying people to safety, even after being hit in the arm by a bullet fragment.
“I just wanted to try to help as many people as I could,” Swanson had said at the time. “At a certain point, we realized that there were no more people in the concert venue that were alive that we could help. We canvassed the whole area to make sure we didn’t miss anybody.”
Swanson’s bravery during the Las Vegas shooting did not go unnoticed.
Chief Johnson commended his selfless actions that night.
“Despite his injuries, Officer Chad Swanson performed heroically during the hail of deadly gunfire,” Johnson said.
During his tenure with the Manhattan Beach Police Department, Swanson had received recognition for his efforts, including a Medal of Valor award.
He earned this accolade after assisting in the rescue of a burglar who had cut himself while breaking into a business.
As the California Highway Patrol continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding the motorcycle crash, community members and colleagues remembered Swanson as a dedicated officer and hero who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The memorial at the Civic Center was followed by a procession to the Manhattan Beach Pier.