Mourners pay their respects to slain Riverside County sheriff’s deputy

The Riverside County sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed on Jan. 13 was honored Saturday morning at a funeral service where he was remembered as an exceptionally kind and dedicated public servant.

The black hearse that carried the casket of Deputy Darnell Calhoun wound its way through a 50-mile route to the Abundant Living Family Church in Rancho Cucamonga, as mourners lined the roads to pay their respects to the slain officer.

The 30-year-old deputy was shot while responding to an “unknown trouble” call at a residence in the unincorporated community of Lakeland Village, according to the Sheriff’s Department. He was transported to a local hospital where he later died, officials said.

The suspect, 42-year-old Jesse Navarro, exchanged gunfire with a second officer who arrived at the scene, according to officials. Last Saturday, Navarro was reported to be in critical condition.

Calhoun’s death shook the local community and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, which was still reeling from the death of another deputy, 32-year-old Isaiah Cordero, who was shot while making a traffic stop in Jurupa Valley two weeks earlier.

A portrait of Calhoun dressed in his department’s officer’s uniform was displayed on the church stage near his casket, draped in an American flag.

Church and police leaders recalled Calhoun as faithful and compelled by an ever-present sense of duty.

Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said Calhoun often expressed concerns that he had not done enough for someone while responding to a call, and wanted to know how he could better serve the people he encountered.

“By all accounts, Deputy Calhoun exemplified what we want our deputies to be: strong, kind, compassionate,” Bianco said.

Calhoun spent two years with the San Diego Police Department before he was hired by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in February 2022, a move he made because he wanted to shorten his commute and spend more time with his family, Bianco said.

Calhoun leaves behind two young children and a widow pregnant with a third child.

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