10 years later: family and friends gather to remember Officer Derek Owens

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - They came from near and far to remember their father, brother, son, friend and partner, Derek Wayne Owens.

Owens was gunned down in 2008 while he and his partner were chasing a group of young men through the Woodland Hills neighborhood.

A then 19-year-old Lamidi Kafaru was sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing Owens.

Respected by many and loved by all, one by one, they lifted his name Saturday at the Cleveland Police Fourth District Fallen Officers Memorial.

"Derek was a mentor to me and many others. He believed that helping people was his passion and he was very good at it," said one of his partners.

"We'll never forget and the things that you're doing day in and day out aren't in vain, that all the families around, even if we don't see them often, they know that this is gonna be carried on and that we'll never forget and we'll always be able to honor our fallen," said Chief Calvin Williams, Cleveland Police Department.

"You're here because you chose to be here to honor Derek. You have no idea, no idea what this means to us. You see, we survivors need to know that our loved ones will always be remembered," said Barbara Owens, Derek's mother.

His legacy lives on. Remembered for not how he died but for how he lived.

"Derek Wayne Owens. Badge 746. Cleveland Police Department," said his mother.

A memorial scholarship fund was established as a tribute to remember Officer Owen. It benefits recent high school graduates who show academic merit and are committed to community service.

The scholarship fund is managed by the Cleveland Foundation. Financial contributions may be made to the office located at 1422 Euclid Avenue, Suite 1300. Cleveland, OH 44115.

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