Sgt. Steve Owen, a 29-year L.A. County Sheriff Department’s veteran was killed in a line of duty on Wednesday 10/05/16 in Lancaster. Armed burglary suspect shot and mortally wounded the officer.
Here is what happened: Sgt. Owen and another officer were called to a burglary in an apartment building in Lancaster. The officers split approaching the building: Sgt. Owen was checking the rear of the apartment building, while his partner was in the front. The burglar ambushed officer Owen, shot him in the face and then several more times while Sgt. Steve Owen was already on the ground. While the second officer followed the sound of gunshots, the shooter run to the police cruiser parked up front in the hope of using it to escape. The officer caught up with the killer (since then identified as 27 years old Trenton Trevon Lovell) and started firing. Lovell responded by backing up into another patrol car and injuring the officer… Since he failed to escape by a police car, Lovell sought refuge in a neighboring home where only two teenagers were present. One of them had the presence of mind to text for help. Lovell eventually left the home with the teens traumatized but unharmed and attempted to escape by foot through neighborhood backyards. Lovell – a burglar and now a killer, with a prior criminal record – was shot and injured during the pursuit. He was apprehended and is in police custody.
It happens – and unfortunately often – that a police officer dies or gets killed in a line of duty. It happens that a police officer sacrifices his life to protect the public or save a person’s life. The case of Sgt. Steve Owens is different, still. He not only gave his life to keep his community safe but positively impacted many lives during his. It takes an extra-ordinary man and a life very well lived to be mourned like he is.
Many individual members of the Lancaster community came forward to share their personal memories of Sgt. Steve Owen. People cried speaking about him. One recalled how he visited her in a hospital after she was shot as teen. How the sergeant lifted her spirit and promised to track down and bring to justice the shooter. (He did.) Another spoke of Sgt. Owen as the man who saved her nephew’s future. The nephew was a juvenile delinquent bound for prison. Sgt. Owen was able to get him in a counseling program as opposed to penitentiary. The young man straightened up. From the first hand accounts emerges a fuller picture of the man who spent his life serving and protecting his community. Community members describe him as caring, compassionate and going above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Steve Owen was a hero and a PEACE officer.
Sgt. Owen – a member of a team that received a medal of valor for saving a hostage held at a gunpoint in 2014 – was well-liked by his superiors, peers and subordinates alike. Still, it is the outpouring of the community’s love and gratitude for him that is most telling.
Sgt. Owen (53) leaves behind a wife, two adult sons and his mother. LAPD and the Lancaster community he served are in mourning. Residents of Lancaster created impromptu memorials in his honor. As his body was transported to the funeral home crowds turned out to pay respect to the fallen officer whose life mattered so much to so many…
We have lost a remarkable human being and a hero police officer. Anything L.A. Magazine expresses its heartfelt condolences to Sgt. Steve Owen’s family, LAPD and those whose lives he’s touched.