Lancaster looking to name park for fallen hero

Citizens put their hands on their hearts as local Santa Clarita Valley sheriff's deputies and firefighters salute fallen Sgt. Steve Owen as a procession in his honor moved northbound on Highway 14 past the Golden Valley Bridge on Thursday. Katharine Lotze/Signal

The city that Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Steven Owen served, and in which he died in the line of duty, is looking honor the decorated hero by naming a park after him.

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris announced Friday that he will ask the City Council to rename Lancaster Community Park as “Sergeant Steve Owen Community Park.”

His call came on a day when chilling new details emerged on Owen’s death.

The 53-year-old Owen, a 29-year Sheriff’s Department veteran, was shot and killed Wednesday while responding to a burglary call in the 3200 block of West Avenue J-7 in Lancaster.

Trenton Lovell, 27, of Lancaster, was arrested Wednesday afternoon. He was charged Friday with murder and held without bail.

Sheriff Jim McDonnell said Friday that Lovell shot Owen as the officer first arrived at the scene, and then stood over the fallen Owen and fired four more shots in a “calculated execution.”

Lovell could face the death penalty.

Parris said he wants the park named in Owen’s honor because the officer “deserves to always be remembered by the residents of the City of Lancaster and the Antelope Valley.’’

“Renaming our community park after a true hero is one small step in that direction,’’ the mayor said in a statement.

“Steve was killed in the line of duty protecting a community in which he was deeply embedded. Sgt. Steve Owen was one the best-known deputies throughout the entire Antelope Valley region.

Numerous community members have attested in recent days to the positive impact he had on their lives, both on and off duty, and how he went above and beyond the call of duty in those interactions.’’

“Simply recounting those stories isn’t enough to honor him. There is no better tribute than to name a community gathering place for Sgt. Owen.”

Owen, who worked out of the Santa Clarita Valley’s Sheriff’s station, was awarded the Medal of Valor on Oct. 2, 2014, for his part in apprehending armed gang members, following a chase and a standoff.

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