Thousands attend memorial service for sheriff's sergeant killed in Lancaster

ByRob Hayes, Marc Cota-Robles, and staff KABC logo
Friday, October 14, 2016
Memorial service held for Sgt. Steve Owen
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A memorial service was held for Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Steve Owen, who was killed in the line of duty.

LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- Family members, government officials and thousands of law enforcement officers on Thursday attended a memorial service for Sgt. Steve Owen, a decorated 29-year-veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department who was shot and killed in the line of duty.

Gov. Jerry Brown, state Attorney General Kamala Harris and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti were among those who paid their respects to Owen, 53, about a week after he was slain while responding to a burglary call in Lancaster.

A procession in that city began at about 8:45 a.m. in front of the local sheriff's station, where Owen had been assigned for the past five years. The caravan departed from the facility and made its way to Lancaster Baptist Church.

Thousands attended a memorial service for Steve Owen, the Los Angeles County sheriff's sergeant killed in the line of duty.

Hundreds of law enforcement vehicles -- patrol cars, motorcycles and SUVs, escorting a hearse with Owen's casket -- comprised the procession, which set out on Sierra Highway. It follow a 13-mile route whose streets were lined with mourners holding American flags.

"Sgt. Owen had the qualities of a religious man -- maybe a priest, a minister or a rabbi, or someone who took vows to serve mankind," said L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell, one of several who eulogized the fallen peace officer. "He fed the hungry, he clothed those who needed it, and Steve Owen comforted the traumatized."

"Yet Steve was a hard-working street cop," McDonnell said.

PHOTOS: Emotional memorial service held for slain sheriff's sergeant

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Mounted law enforcement officers are seen at a memorial service for slain L.A. County sheriff's Sgt. Steve Owen in Lancaster on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016.

The beloved sergeant was shot "execution-style" outside a home Oct. 5, authorities said, as he and a deputy responded to a report of a burglary in the 3200 block of West Avenue J7.

Owen is survived by his wife, Tania, an arson explosives detective with the sheriff's department; his daughter Shannon, 22; and sons Branden, 24, and Chad, 27.

"He was my dad, my protector, the example of what a man, a husband and a father should be," Owen's daughter said, as she emotionally recalled being raised by her adoptive father. "Ultimately, dad was one of the biggest blessings of my life."

In a statement released Saturday, Owen's family said: "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."

Many throughout Southern California lined the procession route for slain Los Angeles County sheriff's Sgt. Steve Owen.

His suspected killer, 27-year-old parolee Trenton Trevon Lovell, remained in custody without bail Thursday and was facing multiple charges including capital murder.

He is eligible for the the death penalty or life in prison without parole if convicted as charged, according to the Riverside County district attorney.

City News Service contributed to this report.