Hundreds take part in candlelight vigil for slain LASD Sgt. Steve Owen

LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- A candlelight vigil and walk were held Saturday night in Lancaster to remember Los Angeles County sheriff's Sgt. Steve Owen, who was brutally gunned down in the line of duty.

Owen, 53, was a 29-year veteran of the department who had spent the last five years at the Lancaster Station. He was killed Wednesday while responding to a burglary call in the 3200 block of West Avenue J7.

The tragedy sent shockwaves through the Lancaster community, with many residents saying they knew Owen personally.

Louie Garcia said when he was 16 years old he met Owen while he was part of the L.A. County explorer's program.

"He actually opened my eyes on why I want to become a deputy. Because of him is now why I pursue my career as a deputy sheriff for the L.A. County sheriff's," he said.

His family spoke out Saturday through a statement issued by the sheriff's department. They shared their gratitude over the Antelope Valley's outpouring of support since Owen's death.

An undated photo of LASD Sgt. Steve Owen and his family. Owen was gunned down execution-style in Lancaster on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016.

Their statement read in part: "The continuous outpouring of encouragement, gratitude, and respect for him that has come from our community and across the nation has brought us the comfort and the strength needed to survive this tragedy. You all have truly touched our hearts."

Owen leaves behind his wife Tania, who is an arson explosives detective with the sheriff's department. He also leaves behind his daughter Shannon, 22, his son Branden, 24, and son Chadd, 27.

A memorial service for Owen is set for Thursday, and while it will not be open to the general public, the department will stream the memorial online.

Authorities said Owen was shot and killed "execution-style" by suspect Trenton Trevon Lovell. The 27-year-old was arrested after trying to flee from police not long after killing the sergeant. On Friday, he was charged with capital murder, among other felony counts.
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