Words like “prolific” and “legend” are among the ways colleagues describe Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Owen.
Owen, 53, was shot and killed by a suspect in Lancaster Wednesday afternoon after responding to a call of a reported residential burglary.
The veteran sergeant was shot in the face and was taken to the hospital in grave condition. He survived long enough to say a final goodbye to his family.
“It’s a very difficult time, as you can imagine, for the many members of our department. We’re all suffering,” Capt. Steven Katz said during a press conference.
More than 100 LASD deputies visited the hospital to pay respects to the man they say was well-known by Lancaster residents not only for his police work, but his dedication to youth and the community, as well.
Owen was regarded a strong, positive example for young people in the Antelope Valley. He also was a keen street cop who had mastered the delicate balance of effective enforcer and compassionate counselor.
He volunteered as a youth football coach and mentor, and spent time teaching local landlords how to reduce crime on their properties.
Hundreds of residents, law enforcement officers and firefighters came out to pay respects to Owen in a procession from the hospital to the coroner’s office, and a growing memorial of candles, flowers and notes was posted outside the Lancaster station.
Owen was a 29-year veteran of law enforcement and had been serving at the LASD Lancaster station for the last five years. He had plans to return the department’s mounted unit until his retirement.
In 2014, he was awarded Meritorious Conduct Medal in 2014 for his work rescuing a hostage held at gunpoint.
Owen is survived by his wife, Tania, a detective in the LASD’s Arson/Explosives Detail; mother Millie; sons sons Brandon and Chad; and his stepdaughter, Shannon.
Memorial service details have not yet been announced.