Los Angeles

Civilian-Led Candlelight Vigil Held for Fallen Sheriff's Sergeant

Sgt. Steve Owen, a decorated 29-year sheriff's department veteran, was shot and killed while responding to a burglary report

A civilian-led candlelight vigil was held Saturday night in memory of sheriff's Sgt. Steve Owen, who was fatally shot while responding to a burglary call in Lancaster this week.

The vigil began at 5 p.m. and lasted until 11 p.m.

Lancaster Boulevard was closed to all vehicles between Sierra Highway and Gadsden Avenue, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Owen, 53, a decorated 29-year sheriff's department veteran, who served as a Sgt. in the Lancaster Station for the past five years, was killed at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 3200 block of West Avenue J-7 where he had responded to a burglary report.

He was shot when he confronted suspect Trenton Trevon Lovell, 27, a parolee now in custody and charged with capital murder, authorities said.

Owen's mother, adult son and daughter and his wife, who is a detective in the Sheriff Department's Arson/Explosives Detail, were at his bedside when he died, according to the sheriff's department. Owen, who also is survived by another adult son, authorities said.

Owen's death has sparked an outpouring of condolence and grief, with many in the Antelope Valley praising him for his service, conduct and community involvement, especially with area youths. 

"If we could portray somebody to our academy recruits that if you want to do the job as well as it could be done this is the individual you need to look to," Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said at a Thursday news conference. "He walked the talk."

Wednesday's procession of law enforcement vehicles with emergency lights flashing and sirens wailing escorted a coroner's van with Owen's body from the hospital in Lancaster to the coroner's office in Boyle Heights. LAPD officers and sheriff's deputies lined the streets, saluting the fallen sergeant.

Hundreds also gathered for a vigil Wednesday night at the Lancaster Sheriff's Station.

Owen received a Meritorious Conduct Medal in 2014, along with five of his Lancaster Station colleagues, for their roles in a pursuit and carjacking that ended with the capture of the armed suspect and the motorist's rescue.

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris announced Friday that he will ask the city council to rename Lancaster Community Park as Sgt. Steve Owen Community Park.

"He deserves to always be remembered by the residents of the city of Lancaster and the Antelope Valley," the mayor said. "Renaming our community park after a true hero is one small step in that direction. Steve was killed in the line of duty protecting a community in which he was deeply embedded. Sgt. Steve Owen was one of the best-known deputies throughout the entire Antelope Valley region."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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