Saying goodbye to a fallen Stanislaus Co deputy

MODESTO, Calif.

Stanislaus County Sheriff's Deputy Robert Paris was gunned down last Thursday while serving an eviction notice.

"We've seen an incredible display of respect for Deputy Paris, including officers from several Valley agencies and dignitaries like Governor Jerry Brown. They all came to remember a man who dedicated his life to serving others."

Hundreds of solemn officers met at a Modesto church to honor a man most of them never knew.

Corp. Armando Echevarria with the Atwater Police Department said, "We need to be here and show our respect not only for the officer who paid with his life, but also to the family and their department as well."

Many of these Merced County deputies risked their own lives in a stand-off with the gunman who killed Deputy Robert Paris.

Deputy Tom Mackenzie with the Merced County Sheriff's Office said, "A lot of the guys who are here are on the SWAT Team and feel very close to the situation so we want to come show our support.

"Bob spent his life in the service of others."

Inside the church, friends and family shared stories of the 53-year-old father who loved hunting and fishing. His brother spoke about facing an annual camping trip without him.

Eric Paris said, "I will miss you, and I will be in Kennedy Meadows this May 25th with you in my heart."

Others reflected on the people Paris helped during his time as a paramedic and 16 years as a deputy.

Krista Torpey said, "Bob was truly one of the good guys and god took him away from us too early."

Paris died April 12 while serving an eviction notice at a Modesto apartment. Authorities say Jim Richard Ferrario, 45, killed him and locksmith Glendon Engbert.

The shooting sparked an 11 hour stand-off that ended when the fourplex went up in flames. Investigators later found Ferrario's burned body with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was wearing a bullet proof vest and gas mask and had 22 guns within an arm's reach.

Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said, "Words cannot express our pain and anguish over what's happened, and we'll never be able to understand this senseless act of violence."

But the willingness to face that type of danger bonds all of the officers who joined the procession to Paris' final resting place.

Several citizens also lined the streets leading to the cemetery just outside Modesto where Deputy Paris will be buried.

Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.