Sgt. Steve Owen. Photo courtesy LASD
Sgt. Steve Owen. Photo courtesy LASD

A memorial service will be held tomorrow for Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Owen, who was fatally shot while responding to a burglary call in Lancaster, and residents were advised to anticipate road closures to accommodate the funeral procession.

The service is scheduled for 10 a.m. at Lancaster Baptist Church, 4020 E. Lancaster Blvd. The service, which is closed to the public, will be live- streamed online at live.lasd.org.

Among those scheduled to attend are Sheriff Jim McDonnell, Gov. Jerry Brown, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich and Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. Law enforcement officers from across the region are expected to attend.

Officials cautioned residents to be aware of street closures Thursday morning in the area surrounding the service, beginning about 6:30 a.m.

A procession to the church will begin about 8 a.m., with the potential for “intermittent or full closures” on affected streets.

The procession will start on southbound Sierra Highway, south of Lancaster Boulevard, and continue as follows:

— southbound Sierra Highway to East Avenue L;

— eastbound East Avenue L to 30th Street East;

— northbound 30th Street East to East Avenue J;

— eastbound East Avenue J to 40th Street East; and

— northbound 40th Street East to East Lancaster Boulevard.

East Lancaster Boulevard, between 40th Street East and 50th Street East, also will be impacted. “Less significant” delays should be expected in the afternoon at the conclusion of the service. There will be no interment or graveside ceremony.

Owen, 53, a decorated 29-year sheriff’s department veteran who served as a sergeant in the Lancaster Station for the past five years, was killed at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 5 in the 3200 block of West Avenue J-7 where he had responded to a burglary report.

The suspected shooter, Trenton Trevon Lovell, 27, is a parolee in custody and charged with capital murder, among other charges.

McDonnell alleged that Lovell shot Owen behind a residence after being confronted by the sergeant, who radioed that he had the suspect at gunpoint before he was shot.

“He (Lovell) then stood over and executed Sgt. Owen by firing four additional rounds into his body,” McDonnell said. “He then unsuccessfully searched the body for the sergeant’s weapon with the intent to use it to murder the first responding deputy.”

Owen’s wife, who is a sheriff’s arson-explosives detective, made it to the hospital before her husband died, according to sheriff’s Executive Officer Neal Tyler. One of Owen’s two adult sons and his stepdaughter, as well his mother, also were at his bedside, Tyler said.

Owen’s death sparked an outpouring of condolences and grief, with many in the Antelope Valley praising him for his service, conduct and community involvement, especially with area youths.

Parris announced that he would ask the city council to rename Lancaster Community Park as Sgt. Steve Owen Community Park.

Mourners held a candlelight vigil late Saturday night closing off Lancaster Boulevard to vehicles between Sierra Highway and Cedar Avenue.

“We want to say thank you for the love and support you have shown our family as we mourn the loss of our husband, father, brother, uncle, son, and ultimately our hero, Sgt. Steve Owen,” Owen’s family said in a statement. “The continuous outpouring of encouragement, gratitude, and respect for him that has come from our community and across the nation has brought us the comfort and the strength needed to survive this tragedy. … You all have truly touched our hearts.”

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–City News Service 

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