FAIRFIELD — A crowd of friends, family and fellow law enforcement officers stood solemnly under a bright-red sky Wednesday evening, candles in their hands, to mourn the loss of California Highway Patrol officer Kenyon Youngstrom.
Hundreds from his neighborhood near Ridgeview Park, and throughout the Bay Area, came to remember the life of 37-year-old Youngstrom, a resident of Fairfield, a husband and a father of four children.
Youngstrom had been in critical condition at John Muir Hospital after he was shot Tuesday morning during a traffic stop on Interstate 680 in Walnut Creek.
The suspected assailant, Christopher Boone Lacy, 36, was shot and killed at the scene by Youngstrom’s partner, who saw Youngstrom go down.
At the start of the candlelight vigil, it was announced that Youngstrom was taken off life support Wednesday and died shortly after. The news was met with quiet cries and tears as people clutched their handkerchiefs and candles.
CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said in a press release that “this is a very sad day for the CHP as well as Californians. Officer Youngstrom was a valued member of the CHP family, a dedicated officer and soldier who gave his life serving the people of California.”
Law enforcement officers including Fairfield Police Chief Walt Tibbet came to offer words of condolences. Local politicians including Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Creek, and Fairfield Mayor Harry Price gave their support.
“We need to push violence aside and put it in its place,” Garamendi said. “(We need) to come to a place of peace and understanding.”
Neighbors from his community showed a huge outpouring of support for his family.
Monica Brown, a neighbor and teacher to his 13-year-old daughter, began crying as she thought of how hard this would be for Youngstrom’s children.
“She’s 13, and she doesn’t have a dad,” Brown said. “You know it’s going to be a huge loss.”
Neighbor and fellow CHP officer Paula Hernandez said the loss hits the law enforcement community especially hard.
“What about the law enforcement officers who do this every day?” Hernandez said. “(The violence) is senseless.”
As it turned dark and the crowd blew out their candles, Solano County Sheriff’s Chaplain Charles Brown reminded everyone of the sacrifices CHP officers make every day.
“It’s because of them we can sleep comfortably in our homes every night,” he said.