Evening Vigils Honor Second Slain Riverside Deputy in Three Weeks

Connor Forbes
Connor Forbes
5 Min Read
Deputy Darnell Calhoun was killed on duty last Friday while answering a domestic dispute call in Lake Elsinore. Riverside County Sheriff ‘s Dept.

Deputy Darnell Calhoun had Joined the Department a Year Ago from San Diego PD

RIVERSIDE – At least 150 people crowded the front of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Lake Elsinore Station Tuesday evening for a vigil for slain Deputy Darnell Calhoun.

Calhoun, 30, was allegedly gunned down Friday by 42-year-old Jesse Navarro of Lake Elsinore. Calhoun was assigned to the Lake Elsinore Station after he laterally transferred from the San Diego Police Department nearly one year ago.

Calhoun was fatally shot about 4:20 p.m. Friday in the 18000 block of Hilldale Lane, near Grand Avenue, when he approached a residence from which a 911 call had been placed indicating there was a domestic disturbance, Bianco said Friday.

The deputy, who left behind a pregnant wife and two young sons, died after he was rushed to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, where the suspect was also taken and remains in critical condition after he was shot by a deputy backing up Calhoun.

“His life, his commitment and dedication to his family and his community will remain an inspiration,” according to the family statement. “He was genuine, kind, loyal and had the heart of a servant. We take great comfort in knowing that Darnell led a life well-lived. We are grateful to our
community, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office, and law enforcement agencies around the country that have uplifted us.”

The vigil included a song, “Hymn of Heaven,” with acoustic guitar accompaniment.

“In the back of our minds we know that we might not go home,” Sheriff Chad Bianco said. ” It takes a special kind of person to be able to come to work everyday knowing that you could sacrifice your life for someone else and leave your family behind. Darnell was that kind of man who came to work to protect people.”

Riverside County Supervisor Karen Spiegel said she would never say the name of suspect Jesse Navarro “because any murderer who takes the life of law enforcement — or an attempt on that life — should never be given the dignity of having his name said out loud.”

“We all need to continue to rally together, rally around his (Calhoun’s) family as a community and wrap our arms around this very special, grieving family,” Spiegel said.

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

“His service and dedication will never be forgotten,” Johnson said. “And we will always remember the sacrifices he and his family have made.”

A “Help A Hero” fundraiser for Calhoun’s family has been established. As of Tuesday evening, $201,320 in donations have been made. Donations can be made at helpahero.com/campaign/deputy-darnell-calhoun.

A second candlelight vigil in memory of Calhoun as held Wednesday evening at Town Square Park Amphitheater in Murrieta where Calhoun was raised.

Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the following statement Saturday morning: “Jennifer and I are heartbroken by the loss of Deputy Calhoun, a dedicated public servant who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and all those he served with at the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, who are mourning the painful loss of another deputy weeks ago. Deputy Calhoun died a hero and his bravery and
selfless service will always be remembered.”

California Attorney General Rob Bonta also offered his condolences. “Deputy Darnell Calhoun represented the best of the California spirit — protecting and serving the public with valor,” Bonta said Saturday.

“On behalf of the nearly 6,000 men and women of the California Department of Justice, I extend our deepest condolences to Deputy Calhoun’s family, colleagues, and the entire Riverside community. His service and sacrifice will not be forgotten.”

Funeral plans have not been announced.

Suspect Jesse Navarro was critically wounded by the 2nd responding deputy. Riverside County Sheriff’s Dept.
Share This Article
Leave a comment