Thousands of people gathered Friday to honor a 22-year-old police officer who was shot and killed just weeks into the job while responding to a traffic crash in a Davis.

All 8,000 seats are filled with officers, family, friends and members of the community to bid farewell to Natalie Corona, who had wanted to be an officer just like her father.

A program at the memorial service described her as a compassionate, fun-loving 22-year-old whose passion for police work started when she was young.

The service began with musician Billy Ray Cyrus singing a song he wrote for soldiers of the Vietnam War. 

He said that Corona’s smile touched his heart. He called her a “light in this world that won’t be forgotten.”

During the service, Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel posthumously awarded Corona the Purple Heart and a medal of distinction.

Pytel apologized to the parents of a slain rookie officer for failing to get her home safely, saying they had delivered the “perfect cop.”

Police are still investigating the motive for the attack. The gunman has been identified as a 48-year-old convict who was banned from owning firearms and took his own life after shooting Corona.

Pytel says that although the person who “committed this atrocity” is known, why he did it may never be.

WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON:

>>MORE STORIES