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Thousands mourn CHP officer shot during traffic stop on I-680

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POSTED September 13, 2012 8:19 p.m.

VACAVILLE  (AP) — A California Highway Patrol officer gunned down during a freeway traffic stop was remembered Thursday for his friendly personality and unique sense of humor at a funeral attended by Gov. Jerry Brown and thousands of uniformed officers from across the nation.

Kenyon Youngstrom, 37, was shot Sept. 4 along Interstate 680 in Alamo. He died in a hospital the next day after being taken off life support. He is survived by his wife Karen and four children.

His eldest son Alex, 17, made mourners at Mission Church in Vacaville burst into laughter with anecdotes about his father playfully tackling him at surprising moments.

"When I make friends I'd be like, 'Oh yeah my dad does this,' and I'd feel kind of pumped up," he said.

Youngstrom was a seven-year veteran of the CHP who also served in the Army Reserve for six years from 1994 to 2000. His heart, kidneys and liver were donated to four people, including another married father of four.

"In the midst of our grief, we are comforted to know he continues to help others," Youngstrom's family said in a statement.

At the funeral, his twin Clinton Youngstrom said his religious, generous brother had a bad temper until he met his wife Karen.

"One of our thoughts growing up was that Kenyon would be in the back of a patrol car, not driving one," Clinton Youngstrom said.

After graduating from the CHP academy, Kenyon Youngstrom was assigned to a Contra Costa County patrol unit. Retired CHP Capt. Jim Cahoon said Youngstrom quickly became one of his favorite officers, and his go-to choice to accompany anyone who wanted go on a ride-along.

"Kenyon was among only a handful I've seen embraced immediately by an entire squad — young and old," Cahoon said.

Police say Youngstrom was shot by 36-year-old Christopher Boone Lacy, who was then killed by the officer's patrol partner, Tyler Carlton.

"No matter how long of a day we had out on the road ... he would come back to the office with a smile on his face and an encouraging word to lift the rest of us up," Carlton said of Youngstrom at the funeral.

Hundreds of law enforcement vehicles lined up outside the church, where a large American flag was draped over the entrance between the ladders of two fire engines.

Relatives and co-workers also remembered Youngstrom as a devout Christian who always stayed positive and would forgive people unconditionally. They also recalled his quirks __ having an obsession with duct tape and being a "fast-food junkie."

 

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