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Memorial service for fallen RSO Deputy Darnell Calhoun

  Hundreds of first responders, family, and friends attended Deputy Darnell Calhoun's homegoing service.

The Sheriff's Department shared a public live stream of the funeral held at the abundant living family church.

Several pastors spoke about Calhoun as a man of God and shared what his family meant to him. 

Mourners met with a song to open deputy Darnell Calhoun's memorial service.

Daniel Johnson sings You Are Holy. 

A slide show was shown, and played music with precious family photos of Calhoun, showing his love for the Philadelphia Eagles and highlights from his career. 

"I can say with full conviction that as long as I've known Darnell, he was always on duty," says Pastor Kenny Keahey, Calhoun's youth pastor. 

He and others who spoke shared Calhoun's love for Christ, his family, and his badge.

"You could count on him to give his time, to sit with you and talk with you and listen and laugh it was his duty to love on and care for and pray for and minister to others," says Pastor Keahey.

Sheriff Chad Bianco says Calhoun was dedicated to serving his community. 

"By all accounts, deputy Darnell exemplified what we want our deputies to be, strong, kind, compassionate," says Sheriff Chad Bianco, Riverside county. "He loved his job and his calling to help people."

The San Diego Police Chief remembers when he first met Calhoun."Everything he said was family, I remember that really resonates everything he said was family and faith," Chief David Nisleit, San Diego police department.

You can re-watch the service below:

The memorial service for fallen Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy Darnell Calhoun was held Saturday morning at the Abundant Living Family Church in Rancho Cucamonga.

Almost 3000 people in the comments on the Livestream shared condolences for his family and law enforcement partners. 

Without knowing Calhoun, four-time NBA champion Shaq, sent a video message to the family. "Mrs. Calhoun, my name is Shaquille O'Neal I leave this message with a heavy heart," says Shaq. "Any man that works as law enforcement, can tell that he loved the community."

Calhoun's wife, children, and family walked behind his casket, surrounded by men and women in uniform, family, and friends.

He was a great young man, he loved his wife, Vanessa, as christ loved the church, and he cherished his children," says Danny Young, retired RSO Lieutenany and longtime family friend of the Calhouns. "He honored his parents, and he was very proud of his siblings and his family members."

Internment will follow the eulogies, and that service will be private.

The public is invited to show support ahead of the memorial by lining the route the procession from the Murrieta Valley Funeral Home to the Rancho Cucamonga church will take. It is as follows:

Northbound on Washington, then eastbound on Kalmia Street to northbound Interstate 15; I-15 to Fourth Street in Rancho Cucamonga, then westbound on Fourth to Milliken Avenue; northbound on Milliken to Arrow Route, then westbound on Arrow to White Oak Avenue northbound; then a final westbound turn into the parking lot of Abundant Living Family Church.

Calhoun, 30, was killed in the line of duty last 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.

"It takes a special kind of person to be able to come to work every day, knowing that you could sacrifice your life for someone else and leave your family behind," Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said during a vigil ceremony this week. "Darnell was that kind of man who came to work to protect people."

A "Help A Hero" fundraiser was immediately established. As of Thursday morning, $223,989 in donations had been made on behalf of Calhoun's family. The fundraiser link is at  

"He was a husband, a father of two young boys -- ages 2 and 4 -- and a third baby boy on the way," according to the Riverside County Deputy Sheriff Relief Foundation, which initiated the online fundraiser. "He will be remembered as a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, a cousin, a son-in-law, a brother-in-law and a loyal friend."

Deputy Darnell Calhoun and Sheriff Chad Bianco

The suspect in the shooting, 42-year-old Jesse Navarro of Lake Elsinore, was shot by another deputy during a shootout. He was also taken to Inland Valley Medical Center and remains in critical condition.

Bianco said 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 Calhoun was hit when Navarro allegedly opened fire from
the residence.   

"The second deputy on the scene found Deputy Calhoun wounded in the street," Bianco said last week. "A gunfight ensued with the suspect, who was shot. The suspect was treated at the scene and transported to the hospital."   

Background information on Navarro was unavailable.   

Calhoun was assigned to the Lake Elsinore station after he laterally transferred from the San Diego Police Department just under one year ago.   

The San Diego Police Department posted a message Friday night saying personnel were "devastated to learn of the passing of Deputy Darnell Calhoun, an SDPD officer until 2022."  

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues in SDPD and the Riverside County Sheriff's Office." 

Exactly one week prior to Calhoun's slaying, Deputy Isaiah Albert Cordero was laid to rest.

The 32-year-old motorcycle deputy was shot to death on the afternoon of Dec. 29 by a convicted felon during a traffic stop in Jurupa Valley. The man was killed two hours later during a gun battle with deputies attempting to arrest him after a lengthy pursuit that ended on southbound Interstate 15 in Norco.

Cordero's had been the first deputy line-of-duty death in Riverside County in 15 years.

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Jesus Reyes

City News Service

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Miyoshi Price

Miyoshi joined KESQ News Channel 3 in April 2022. Learn more about Miyoshi here.


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