Friends and family say final goodbye to Fresno County deputy killed in accidental shooting

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A final log-off Wednesday for the Fresno County Sheriff's Sergeant accidentally killed in the line of duty last week. Friends, family, and co-workers laid Rod Lucas to rest with a special tribute.

Sgt. Lucas was known as a great deputy, a leader, and a man of faith. But friends said he was also a storyteller and he was not always as tough as his powerful physique might lead you to believe.

Sgt. Lucas arrived to his funeral under the watchful eyes of the Fresno County Sheriff's Search and Rescue team, one of his former units. Through 20 years on that team, on patrol, and working vice, Lucas formed friendships his fellow deputies knew they could rely on.

"I learned how much his friends and extended family depended on him. Many described him as their rock and we are honored to have served with such a man," said Margaret Mims, Fresno County Sheriff.

Sgt. Lucas was a strong man and a competitor, once winning a gold medal for boxing in the police Olympics.

"But Rod had his weak side. He hated needles. He hated dogs that would bite and anyone making fun of his chicken legs, furry ears, and anything icky," said Patrick Hanson, Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

Sgt. Lucas was also a family man and he leaves behind a wife, four kids, and a grandchild. Friends said he was proud to tell stories about them and he never hesitated to share his Christian faith. His pastor said Sgt. Lucas was always prepared in life, and for death.

"Rod understood that one day he was going to be with Jesus and that day is today. He's with Jesus and he prepared himself all along the way," said Rev. Ted Newman, Lucas Family Friend.

Sgt. Lucas left his funeral in a casket carried by the Sheriff's Honor Guard, but for the deputies who came to say goodbye, his spirit will never leave.

One final procession took Sgt. Lucas to his final resting place at the Lemoore District Cemetery.

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