Friends, relatives and members of the community wishing to honor fallen Riverside police Officer Ryan P. Bonaminio plan to gather Thursday night for a candlelight vigil in downtown Riverside.
The "In the Spirit of Ryan" vigil is slated to begin at 6 p.m. by the Safe in His Arms Memorial in front of the police department's Orange Street Station. Organizers said the slain officer's mother, Gerry Bonaminio, is expected to attend, along with longtime friends and colleagues, including Assistant Riverside Police Chief Chris Vicino.
The 27-year-old officer was gunned down, possibly with his own sidearm, during a struggle with a suspected truck thief Sunday night in Fairmount Park. Bonaminio, a U.S. Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq with a military police unit, was the first Riverside police officer to be killed in the line of duty since January 2001. He joined the police force in 2006 while still in the Army reserves.
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"When something like this happens, it brings it all back to the surface," said Linda Soubirous, president of the Riverside County Peace Officers' Memorial Foundation. ``My heart is broken for the Bonaminio family that they're having to go through this.''
A funeral service for the Riverside native is planned for next Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Grove Community Church, 19900 Grove Community Drive. He will be laid to rest that afternoon at Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Blvd.
On Tuesday, police arrested Earl Ellis Green, 44, of Rubidoux, in connection with the ambush-slaying.