A funeral service for the Fresno County deputy sergeant who died after a colleagues' gun accidentally discharged is scheduled for Wednesday morning in northeast Fresno.
A procession of hundreds of law enforcement officers will escort the body of Sgt. Rod Lucas to Peoples Church, where the service is scheduled for 10 a.m.
Sheriff's spokesman Tony Botti said law enforcement representatives from throughout California and nationally are expected to attend. Peoples Church on Cedar Avenue just north of Herndon Avenue has a capacity of 2,000.
Following the service, a procession is planned to Lemoore Cemetery for a private burial. The route will go westbound on Herndon to Highway 41 and eastbound on Lacey Boulevard in Kings County to 18th Avenue in Lemoore; drivers should expect temporary road closures between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in those areas.
On Monday, Lucas' widow issued a statement thanking the community for its support as plans are made to lay him to rest Wednesday.
Lucas died after he was accidentally shot when a colleague’s gun discharged Oct. 31 in a room at the sheriff’s Special Investigations Unit office near Fresno Yosemite International Airport. Lucas, 46, a husband, father of four and grandfather of one, was a native of Tranquillity who served in the sheriff’s office for 20 years.
“I’m so thankful for all the prayers and support we have received from the community,” wrote Jami Lucas in a statement.
“I am humbled and blessed. I want to thank the Sheriff’s Office for all that they have done and are still doing to make this easier for me and my family. I want to thank the first responders, doctors and all who tried to save my husband’s life. A special thank you to those that have been by our side since day one.
“I have been watching videos, reading posts and comments on Rod’s social media and I am not surprised, but amazed, at all the lives he touched. Rod was truly the best husband a woman could ask for, and the best daddy. We miss him so much.
“Please keep us in your prayers. This pain is so unbearable. My heart hurts both physically and emotionally for my husband and my babies. I have been spending time with Rod and I swear he is smiling. I miss his laugh, his smile, his sense of humor and his love for us. I know where Rod is now and I know he is waiting for us. I know we will be reunited. We ask that you keep the other detective and his family in your prayers. Through all of this I will praise the name of Jesus. God is in control, He knows what he is doing and He is doing what is best for us.”
Lucas is the 12th sheriff’s deputy killed on duty since the office’s inception in 1856.
How to help
Anyone wishing to offer financial help to the family should send it to:
Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association
1360 Van Ness Ave., Fresno CA 93721
(Place “Rod Lucas” in the memo field)