MODESTO (AP) — Hundreds of California law enforcement officers, community members and Gov. Jerry Brown crowded Modesto’s streets Friday to honor a sheriff’s deputy killed last week while serving an eviction notice.
The funeral service for Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Paris, held at a Modesto church Friday afternoon, was followed by a procession to nearby Hughson for the graveside service.
More than 2,000 people attended the church service and hundreds of others lined the streets while the hearse travelled past. American flags around the city flew at half-staff in honor of Paris and locksmith Glendon Engert, who was also killed in the same incident.
Paris, 53, and Engert, 35, were fatally shot on April 12 when they went to the north Modesto home of James Ferrario to evict him, five days after an eviction notice was posted on his door.
The shootings set off an 11-hour standoff with law enforcement, during which Ferrario barricaded himself inside the apartment with a cache of weapons. Police said Ferrario, a former security officer, killed himself before a fire engulfed his apartment. Police are still investigating what caused the fire.
Colleagues and family members remembered Paris as a man who loved being part of the community and helping others. He was an avid outdoorsman, they said, who especially enjoyed fishing, hunting and camping with family and friends.
“Bob wore his badge with pride, loved his job and loved serving his community,” Sheriff Adam Christianson said during the two-hour service.
Paris’ daughter Jami Paris remembered her dad for “the way you made pancakes, the way you’d always take me camping or how you always loved to go hunting, the way you’d always do taxidermy, the way you’d always call me your little camper or princess.”
Others recalled Paris was gentle and compassionate, with a great sense of humor.
Paris was born in Tracy, Calif. He was a paramedic before joining the Sheriff’s Office in 1996. Most of his 16 years in the department were spent patrolling. He is survived by his parents, a brother and two adult children.
Engert, who had worked as a surveyor at an engineering firm before becoming a locksmith, is survived by his wife. His funeral is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Modesto.