Mourners pay tribute to slain Riverside County sheriff’s deputy

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy, who was shot on Jan. 13, was honored Saturday morning at a memorial service where he was remembered as an exceptionally kind and dedicated public servant.

The black hearse that carried the casket of Rep. Darnell Calhoun drove 50 miles to Living Family Galore Church on Rancho Cucamonga as mourners lined the roads to pay their respects to the slain officer.

The 30-year-old deputy was shot while answering a call about an “unknown issue” at a residence in the unincorporated community of Lakeland Village, according to the Sheriff’s Department. He was taken to a local hospital, where he later died, officials said.

The suspect, 42-year-old Jesse Navarro, exchanged fire with a second officer who arrived at the scene, officials said. Last Saturday it was reported that Navarro is in critical condition.

Calhoun’s death shocked the local community and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, which is still reeling from the death of another deputy, Isaiah Cordero, 32, who was shot and killed two weeks earlier during a traffic stop in the Jurupa Valley.

A portrait of Calhoun, dressed in the uniform of an officer in his department, was displayed on the church stage next to his coffin, draped with an American flag.

Church and police leaders remembered Calhoun as loyal and driven by an ever-present sense of duty.

Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said Calhoun often expressed concern that he hadn’t done enough for someone when answering a call and wanted to know how he could better serve the people he encountered.

“By all accounts, Deputy Calhoun has demonstrated what we want our deputies to be: strong, kind, compassionate,” Bianco said.

Calhoun spent two years with the San Diego Police Department before being hired by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in February 2022, Bianco said.

Calhoun is survived by two small children and a widow who is pregnant with her third child.

This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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