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Corrections officer killed in Vegas massacre honored in procession to Grover Beach

Two Santa Barbara city firefighters salute Saturday, October 7, 2017 as the body of Derrick “Bo” Taylor, who was killed in the Las Vegas massacre, is transported up Highway 101 to a Grover Beach funeral home.
Two Santa Barbara city firefighters salute Saturday, October 7, 2017 as the body of Derrick “Bo” Taylor, who was killed in the Las Vegas massacre, is transported up Highway 101 to a Grover Beach funeral home. Noozhawk

Emergency personnel staged on overpasses up and down the Central Coast on Saturday paid their respects to a state correctional officer, who was killed in the Las Vegas massacre, during a procession that carried the body to a Grover Beach funeral home.

Derrick “Bo” Taylor, 56, of Oxnard died in the Oct. 1 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas.

Taylor and his companion, Denise Cohen of Carpinteria, were among 58 people killed when a man opened fire on the crowd, also injuring more than 500 others, including a Santa Barbara couple.

Taylor’s body was transported to the Marshall-Spoo Sunset Funeral Chapel in Grover Beach, which is handling arrangements.

On Santa Barbara overpasses, representatives of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, the Santa Barbara City Fire Department, the Santa Barbara Police Department, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Forest Service were among those gathered as the processional traveled north on Highway 101.

Deputies reportedly were positioned on overpasses from Carpinteria to Santa Maria, spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said. Similar scenes occurred on overpasses in Ventura County and other Southern California locations on Saturday.

During his 29 years with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Taylor rose to the rank of lieutenant. Since 2014, he had worked as commander of the Ventura Conservation Camp in Camarillo, according to the agency.

“There are no words to express the feeling of loss and sadness regarding Bo’s passing,” Sierra Conservation Center Warden Joel Martinez wrote in a memo to staff. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. We truly are a family here at SCC and Bo’s loss will be felt throughout the prison, conservation camps, and department.”

CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan also noted the loss, offering condolences to Taylor’s family, friends and colleagues.

“I was so deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Lt. Derrick Taylor. The horrific circumstances make his death all the more painful. I visited the camp ‘Bo’ Taylor managed, and it was so uplifting to hear the stories from staff that clearly exemplified him as a well-liked and respected man, not only as a leader but as a friend. He devoted nearly 30 years to our department and served us well.”

Taylor was the father of two sons, Gregory and Kyle.

As of Saturday, the GoFundMe page for Taylor’s family to help with funeral expenses had raised more than $12,600 — above the goal of $10,000. Funeral arrangements were pending Saturday evening.

“Bo was everything that is good in this world,” a family friend said on the GoFundMe page. “He was a devoted family man and a true friend to many.”

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at jscully@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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