LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) --Students at an elementary school who were locked down for hours last week due to the shooting of sheriff's Sgt. Steve Owen have created a memorial in his honor.
Westwind Elementary students in Lancaster showed their appreciation for law enforcement with a big "thank you" placed on their fence. Some kids clutched the American flag as deputies visited the campus.
"All these officers are fighting and they're trying to save people's lives and sometimes they even lose their lives," said student Allie Stephens. "So, I just wanted to do this today because we need to respect the officers."
The tribute by the kids followed the tragic shooting death of Owen, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department sergeant, mere blocks from the elementary school last week after he responded to a burglary call.
Deputies who visited the school were touched by the outpouring of support and even patiently signed autographs for students who see them as heroes.
"It's been very helpful, uplifting for us at the same time," said Deputy Miguel Ruiz.
Owen's funeral will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. and will be broadcast live on ABC7 and online at abc7.com/live.