Slain California Locksmith, Deputy Remembered

April 20, 2012
Vigil was also a fundraiser for locksmith's family

April 20--A crowd of some 100 people came to remember by candlelight.

A vigil for the two men killed in the shooting at Chrysler Drive last week brought out mourners and supporters to Graceada Park's Mancini Bowl on Thursday evening.

The event honored sheriff's deputy Robert Paris and locksmith Glendon Engert on the eve of the Paris' funeral which is expected to bring out thousands of mourners as well as Gov. Jerry Brown.

The vigil was also a fund-raiser for Engert's family. Candles, water and glowsticks had been donated for the event, with all proceeds going to his memorial fund. Engert's funeral is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 4940 Claus Road.

The event was organized by Engert's former neighbor Laci Cervantes and her friend Andrea Brittain. Cervantes' family has lived next to Engert for the past seven years.

"You don't go to work as a locksmith expecting not to come home," she said. "We want to give them help for his funeral and support for his family."

Engert's widow, Irina Engert, was in attendance but did not speak.

Craig Stott, owner of Crescent Work & Outdoor, knew Paris and works regularly with law enforcement officers at his store in Modesto. He came with his wife and daughter to pay respects.

"It's a hard thing, they're all family to us," Stott said.

Modesto Police Honor Guard officer David Wallace attended in full uniform. He said it has been heartening to see the community outpouring since the shootings.

"Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a tragedy like this to see this type of support from the community," he said. "We know there are supportive people, but often when we see people they are at maybe their most unsupportive. So this is nice."

A massive show of support is expected today for Paris' funeral. Brown is expected to attend as well more than 2,000 law enforcement officers from across the state.

The service is set for noon today at Big Valley Grace Community Church, 4040 Tully Road. It will be followed by a funeral procession beginning about 1 or 1:30 p.m. that will follow a 12-mile route to Lakewood Memorial Park in Hughson.

The procession will head south on Tully to Briggs- more Avenue, east on Briggsmore, south on Claus Road, east on Yosemite Boulevard and south on Santa Fe Drive. It is expected to interrupt traffic for about an hour.

Davis and Johansen high schools will both have minimum days and let out 12:35 p.m. today to accommodate the procession.

Members of the public are encouraged to pay their respects by lining the funeral route.

Bee staff writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at [email protected] or (209) 578-2284.


Video from the vigil:

Copyright 2012 - The Modesto Bee, Calif.