The post office, where people go to send and receive letters from loved ones overseas and beloved grandparents, is the center of every community, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said to a small crowd of county officials, law enforcement from across the Denver metro area and citizens.
The Highlands Ranch Post Office, where Spurlock stood inside, now represents a man who was also at the center of the community: fallen Deputy Zackari Parrish, who was shot and killed in the line of duty on the final day of 2017.
On June 17, dignitaries designated the post office, 9609 South University Blvd., as the “Deputy Sheriff Zackari Spurlock Parrish, III, Post Office Building.” A black plaque with the new name hangs on the right side of the east entrance.
Along with Spurlock, U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, former Congressman Mike Coffman, Postal Inspector Bill Hedrick and USPS Colorado/Wyoming District Manager Kevin Romero gave heartfelt remarks at the ceremony.
In the front row sat the slain deputy's wife, Gracie, joined by county commissioners, local officials and several men and women in blue, who lined the hallway where the ceremony took place.
“By all accounts,” Congressman Crow said, “he was endlessly proud to be an officer.”
Coffman, who introduced the resolution that became law Dec. 21, 2018, commended Parrish for his heroic actions.
Parrish was among five officers and two civilians shot by Matthew Riehl on Dec. 31, 2017. Riehl was a Highlands Ranch resident who was believed to have been mentally ill. Parrish and four more officers were attempting to place him on a mental health hold during what they believed was a manic episode when he opened fire on them inside his apartment.
Parrish was the only individual killed in the incident. He left behind a wife and two daughters
“Forever,” Coffman said, “he will be remembered as an example of extraordinary courage and sacrifice.”
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