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Douglas County

'It makes you appreciate your family, appreciate every day'

Posted

More than 1,000 civilians and upward of 50 law-enforcement agencies turned out for the funeral procession of Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Zackari Parrish in Highlands Ranch Jan. 5.

Parrish, 29, was shot to death in a Highlands Ranch apartment the morning of Dec. 31 in an incident that wounded three other deputies, a Castle Rock Police Department officer and two civilians.

Law-enforcement agencies from several nearby Western states, including Utah, Idaho, Nebraska, Montana and Wyoming, drove vehicles in the funeral procession, which traveled from Castle Rock to Highlands Ranch. Personnel from Colorado law enforcement agencies, including Lakewood, Englewood, Boulder and Basalt, turned out for the procession.

Officers of the U.S. Forest Service and Federal Protective Service of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security also drove vehicles.

The motorcade exited Interstate 25 at Lincoln Avenue about 9 a.m., then headed west down Lincoln, to University Boulevard, then to Wildcat Reserve Parkway, winding its way to Cherry Hills Community Church.

Here's what some civilians — and one police officer — who observed the procession at the intersection of South Quebec Street and Lincoln Avenue said.

•••••

Amy and Wil Ulrickson, 42 and 49, both from Lone Tree; employees at Douglas County School District

Amy Ulrickson:

We've been following the story since it happened. We actually used to live in the Copper Canyon Apartments (where the incident happened). We moved in June.

We're grateful we had moved. Very saddened by the news. I think coming together (is how to get through it).

Wil Ulrickson:

It's been an emotional day for me — my brother passed away from brain cancer two years ago. It's different, but … he was the Sheridan County Sheriff in Montana.

We were making the comment that it seems really quiet today.

Amy:

Like the World Trade Center (attack).

•••••

John Ray, 32, city carrier assistant for United States Postal Service office at Lincoln Avenue and South Quebec Street; lives in Jefferson County

It's never good to see someone shot down in the line of duty. The sad thing is, this is happening so much across the nation. Ten seconds of (shock), and then … there are five tragedies coming up behind it. It's just where we have come as a nation.

I have a 2-year-old, and I get a lump in my throat thinking about him not seeing his father again (like Parrish's children).

•••••

Dana Gerber, 37, Arvada Police Department officer; lives in Westminster

I've been part of (about) three (processions). I've driven in them before.

It's always sad, always scary. It makes you appreciate your family, appreciate every day. You have to have tough conversations with your family (whom Gerber brought). But I wanted them to see the support from the community, too. It's not just negative.

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