The heavy traffic and lunchtime bustle of Old Town Elk Grove halted around noon on June 21. Several community members heard on the Internet that Sacramento Police Officer Tara O’Sullivan was being transported to a local funeral home. They soon stood along Elk Grove Boulevard to await the procession for the slain officer. Several held large American flags while others silently stood and awaited O’Sullivan.

Cosumnes firefighters and Elk Grove police officers stood at attention while a few dozen police cars and motorcycles passed them. Two Cosumnes Fire vehicles, including a truck that raised its ladder, parked on Highway 99’s Elk Grove Boulevard overpass where the procession exited the freeway for Old Town.

Joanne Lopez held up a large American flag with her daughter, Jillian Carroll outside the Teen Center USA building.

“I think that everyone needs to come out and respect her and all officers,” Lopez said.

O’Sullivan was taken to the Herberger Family Elk Grove Funeral Chapel where she was held until her June 27 memorial service in Roseville. Sacramento police officers lined up along the funeral home’s driveway and honored the slain officer while her casket was taken out of a hearse.

The 26-year-old rookie officer was shot and wounded on June 19 in north Sacramento while she was helping a resident move her belongings out of a home after a domestic disturbance call. She succumbed to her injuries after she was taken to a hospital. Sacramento police arrested the suspected gunman, Adel Ramos, after an eight-hour standoff at his home.

O’Sullivan was a Sacramento Police Academy graduate who joined the Sacramento police force last year.

“She is a hero, she saved that woman’s life,” Lopez said about O’Sullivan’s actions before she was attacked.

Monica Grandov, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Laguna-Elk Grove, quickly parked outside the Sacramento County Farm Bureau’s office and patiently waited for the procession. She advises Elk Grove High School’s Key Club, which write more than a hundred thank you cards for law enforcement officers. Local nonprofit, The End of Watch Fund, collected the cards for delivery.

“It’s important to let the kids know this is where the thank you cards are going to,” Grandov said.

She mentioned that she has family members who serve in the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department and the Brentwood police.

Libby Kiley, a longtime Elk Grove resident, stood near Grandov as they waited nearly 30 minutes for the procession.

“It’s very poignant, I just respect what the police officers do for our community,” she said. “They’re brave and selfless.

Elk Grove Police Chief Bryan Noblett this January spoke at a vigil held in the winter rain outside the Elk Grove police station for slain Davis Officer Natalie Corona. He shared his support of O’Sullivan as well as her family and co-workers on his personal Twitter account soon after news of her death was reported.

“Yet another tragic loss of a peace officer who gave her life serving the community she was sworn to protect,” Noblett wrote. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Officer O’Sullivan’s family, friends and @SacPolice family. Rest in peace, Tara.”