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Fallen Oakland cop remembered as fighter after years-long fight for life

Retired Oakland Police Captain Randy Wingate is speaking out after his

Fallen is remembered as a dedicated public servant. He marks the police department’s 55th office to die in the line of duty.

On Saturday morning, a procession marked the End of Watch for the young officer, who spent more than five years fighting for his life. After a traffic crash in 2018 left him with critical injuries, he remained in a state of limited consciousness until his passing.

Wingate was surrounded by his family at the time of his death.

“It’s encouraging to see somebody his age that was so determined, that was just absolutely committed to service,” said his father, Randy Wingate.

Jordan Wingate is the son of a decorated police captain. Law enforcement was in his blood and he always wanted to be a police officer.

Wingate joined OPD as a cadet straight out of high school in 2013. He was later named valedictorian of his police academy class in 2017, graduating on his birthday, May 19. His father had the honor of pinning him during the ceremony.

“Everybody thinks that Jordan followed in my footsteps, but there’s a lot of Jordan’s heart that still actually has a lot to do with his godfather,” said Randy Wingate said.

His godfather was OPD Detective Willie Wilkins, who died in the line of duty back in 2001 after he was shot by friendly fire.

“Wilkins was my best friend,” he said. “He still is my best friend. We went to the academy together.”

In August of 2018, at just 23 years old, Jordan Wingate was severely injured on duty in a traffic crash. He was rushed to Highland Hospital.

“They said the likelihood of him surviving was very slim, but between the doctors and nurses, they kept him alive,” his father said.

In 2018, he was recognized as OPD’s “Rookie of the Year.”

For nearly six years, Wingate was in a state of limited consciousness, able to hear and see his family praying, holding his hand, and keeping hope alive for a full recovery.

Randy Wingate recalled the call he received from his son the day before the crash, when he said his son asked him if he was ever scared on the job.

“He asked me if I was ever scared when I was chasing somebody. I said, you know, as far as chasing somebody with a gun, I mean, it wasn’t as scary as it is driving,” Randy Wingate said, pointing out the tragic irony. “I think the thing what always scares me the most is driving, whether it’s pursuit or you’re going to a code three.”

As the Wingate family and the entire community mourns the loss, Randy Wingate said he’s especially proud of his son for being a fighter.

“His mom and I had to go pick out his casket yesterday and his gravesite, and these are things that you should be doing for your parents, and your parents shouldn’t be doing it for you,” he said.

He is hanging on to what he loved most about his son — his smile, and how he used his heart to police.

“The most important part of being a cop, by far, is talking to people. One of the hardest things for rookies to do is just talk to people and, once you meet somebody, de-escalate things through your words. He was just really good at that. He was a natural from the very beginning,” Randy Wingate said proudly.

“I think that was probably his biggest accomplishment, just that he was a people person. He loved people,” he said.

The officer’s memorial service will be held on Friday at 11 a.m. at 3Crosses Church in Castro Valley.

In honor of Jordan Wingate, Gov. Newsom announced the flags at the State Capitol are being flown at half-staff.