GLENWOOD, Minn. (FOX 9) - Pope County Deputy Josh Owen was supposed to be celebrating his birthday on April 15th. Instead, his life was taken on the same day he was born, 44 years later.
Deputy Owen was shot and killed in the line of duty one week ago after responding to a domestic violence call in the small town of Cyrus in northwestern Minnesota. Two other law enforcement officers were also shot at the scene but survived.
On Saturday morning, loved ones and fellow law enforcement came together to honor and say goodbye to one of their own at Minnewaska Area High School.
"He was strong. His presence brought a sense of calm. You just felt like everything was going to be ok when you were around Josh," said Pope County Chief Deputy Nathan Brecht. "This man was your protector in Pope County. As your family slept soundly, he kept watch."
Before joining the Pope County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Owen served in the Army National Guard, deploying to Bosnia and then Iraq. He was remembered as a brave service member who had a fun-loving side.
Police agencies are mourning the lost of another people officer, the third killed in a week. Deputy Josh Owen was shot during a response on Saturday night. (Polk County Sheriff's Office)
"Josh was a patriot through and through. He loved his country and was honored to serve," said his cousin, Josh Palmateer.
He also absolutely adored his wife, Shannon- so much so that he had a poster of her on his wall while serving overseas.
"While every other soldier had wall hangings of women they only dreamed of meeting, Josh had a poster of Shannon in a bikini," joked Lieutenant Colonel John Anderson of the Minnesota National Guard, who was Owen's platoon leader in Iraq.
Anderson spoke directly to Shannon and the couple's son, Rylan, at the funeral.
"There will be times you will feel alone, times you feel cheated. In those times, please remember this room."
To watch the funeral, see the player below.