Funeral for slain Escondido officer - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Funeral for slain Escondido officer

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Hundreds of law enforcement officers from around the region gathered in the North County Monday with family members and friends of a slain Escondido police officer.

Officer Laura's family requested that the media not use her last name because it's a tragic reminder of her husband. It was also removed from the memorial service program. She was gunned down, allegedly by her husband during an argument. She leaves behind a 4-year-old daughter. 

As her white hearse arrived at Cal State San Marcos, Officer Laura's family, along with her daughter Suzeth were greeted outside, where the police cruiser she drove was stationed.

Officers lined the streets, saluting a shining star -- a bright light gone too soon. Slain Escondido police officer Laura, only 25, remembered as a hero.

"Tragic loss, still feels like it's a bad dream," Escondido police Lt. Al Owens said.

Laura's big brother Gerardo Rios shared stories about his little sister and how she knew she was destined for greatness.

"I remember like it was yesterday, Laura was only 6 years old and she said 'I want to be a cop,'" he said.

The military donated a special flag draped over her casket used for soldiers returning from battle. A special honor, as she was considered a warrior.

Up to 1,000 officers from San Diego, Riverside and the region celebrating her life including Lt. Al Owens, who helped train her.

"Definitely a rising star. The second female ever to get honor grad at the Palomar Police Academy and just a consummate professional. She did everything the right way and she's probably one of the hardest workers I've ever seen," Lt. Owens said.

Laura was on the force for nine months.

During training in the Palomar Police Academy, she couldn't climb over a six foot training wall but instead of giving up, she fought like a champion.

"She built a wall to practice on that wall, not only built a wall but she actually built it a little bit higher. She did it with ease she made the obstacle harder," Lt. Owens said, "We lost a superstar but somehow we have to pick ourselves up and go on."

Her husband is accused of shooting and killing her in their Murrieta home after a domestic dispute last month and setting the house on fire after placing her body in a storage facility.

Escondido Police Chief Craig Carter didn't shy away from addressing how the officer died.

"We want to be there in people's time of need. As I talked about, domestic violence is something we deal with all the time and not be able to help is really hurtful for us," Carter said.

Officer Laura will be buried in Riverside where she went to elementary and high school.

Officers say she was a rookie who had the impact of a veteran.

The Escondido Police Officers' Association is accepting monetary donations through its website,, to help Laura's family with her funeral expenses and to support her daughter.

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