Riverside County deputy killed honored by his hometown of Murrieta during emotional vigil

Calhoun grew up in Murrieta and was just 30 years old.

Thursday, January 19, 2023
Riverside County deputy killed honored by his hometown of Murrieta
EMBED <>More Videos

The city of Murrieta honored Riverside County Sheriff Deputy Darnell Calhoun, who was killed in the line of duty, during an emotional vigil that drew many supporters and loved ones.

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (KABC) -- The city of Murrieta honored a Riverside County Sheriff's deputy killed in the line of duty who was deeply loved by his community.

A somber candlelight vigil was held Wednesday night at the Murrietta Town Square Park Amphitheater in memory of Deputy Darnell Calhoun, who was shot and killed Friday afternoon while responding to a domestic violence call. Investigators say 42-year-old Jesse Navarro is the gunman in this case. He was shot by another deputy and is recovering at a local hospital.

Calhoun grew up in Murrieta and was just 30 years old. His wife, Vanessa, is now left alone to raise the couple's two young sons, with another boy due in April.

His parents own a popular restaurant, Calhoun Family Texas Barbeque. The front of the business is now filled with tributes, flowers and messages of condolence.

The vigil was led by Murrieta Police Chief Tony Conrad and speakers included Murrieta Mayor Lisa Deforest. Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco also delivered remarks, saying "we have to demand better from society."

Customers who met Calhoun while dining at his family's restaurant spoke about the man he was.

"I happened to meet him ... met the mom and dad through buying BBQ but this is just devastating," said supporter June Early.

Calhoun's death comes just two weeks after another Riverside County Sheriff's deputy, Isaiah Cordero, was killed on-duty.

"I just had to come out, I just felt like, with everything that his family has given to the community, with everything that he's given to the community, I just felt like this was the place I needed to be," said Vida Harris.

Slain Riverside County deputy described as well-liked family man expecting 3rd child

The Riverside Sheriff's Association has established a fundraising campaign to help Calhoun's family.