LIVE: Procession, memorial service for slain Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Darnell Calhoun today

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (KABC) — A public memorial service was held in Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday morning for Riverside County Deputy Sheriff Darnell Calhoun, who was gunned down last week while responding to a domestic disturbance call.

Worship began just after 10 a.m. at Abundant Living Family Church and will be followed by private internment services.

The public was invited to show their support in front of the memorial by lining the path of the procession – from the Murrieta Valley Funeral Home to the Rancho Cucamonga Church.

A tour of the fallen lawman’s coffin was held at the funeral home on Friday night, and a candlelight vigil was held Tuesday night outside the sheriff’s Lake Elsinore station, where nearly 150 people gathered to commemorate the 30-year-old deputy, including also Sheriff Chad Bianco.

“It takes a special kind of person to come to work every day knowing that you could sacrifice your life for someone else and leave your family behind,” Bianco said. “Darnell was that kind of man who came into work to protect people.”

Lake Elsinore Mayor Natasha Johnson said Calhoun’s “sacrifice reminds us of the highest price our law enforcement officers are willing to pay to protect our families and our communities.”

Earlier this week, the fallen lawyer’s family released a statement thanking residents and others for their “outpouring of love and support.”

“While we are heartbroken, we also celebrate the gift of Darnell – the husband, father, son, brother and surrogate,” the family statement said. “His life is a blessing even though it has been cut short. Our faith in Jesus will get us through this and we know we will be reunited with Darnell.”

Calhoun was allegedly gunned down by 42-year-old Jesse Navarro from Lake Elsinore on Friday.

The MP, who left behind a pregnant wife and two young sons, died after being taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, where the suspect was also arrested and is in critical condition after being shot by a MP, who supported Calhoun.

A Help A Hero fundraiser was set up for the slain lawman. As of Friday, $236,665 in donations had been received on behalf of Calhoun’s family. The link to the fundraiser is at calhoun.

“He was a husband, father of two little boys — ages 2 and 4 — and a third boy on the way,” according to the Riverside County Deputy Sheriff’s Relief Foundation, which initiated the fundraiser. “He will be remembered as a son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, son-in-law, brother-in-law and a loyal friend.”

Bianco said Calhoun was fatally shot at about 4:20 p.m. on Friday, January 13 at the 18000 block of Hilldale Lane near Grand Avenue while approaching an apartment building from which an 911 call had been made , which indicated a domestic disturbance.

Calhoun was hit when Navarro opened fire, Bianco said.

“The second deputy on site found Deputy Calhoun injured in the street,” Bianco said last week. “A shootout ensued with the suspect who was shot.”

Calhoun was assigned to the Lake Elsinore station after being transferred from the San Diego Police Department nearly a year ago.

The San Diego Police Department released a message last week saying staff were “devastated to learn of the death of Deputy Darnell Calhoun, an SDPD officer through 2022.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues in the SDPD and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office.”

Exactly one week before Calhoun’s assassination, Deputy Isaiah Albert Cordero was buried.

The 32-year-old motorcycle deputy was shot dead by a convicted criminal during a traffic stop in the Jurupa Valley on the afternoon of December 29. The man was killed two hours later during a firefight with deputies trying to apprehend him after a long pursuit that ended on southbound I-15 in Norco.

Cordero was the first death of an on-duty deputy officer in Riverside County in 15 years.

Copyright © 2023 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. LIVE: Procession, memorial service for slain Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Darnell Calhoun today

Laura Coffey

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