Family, friends and law enforcement officers gathered Thursday to say their final goodbyes to San Luis Obispo Police Detective Luca Benedetti.
On Monday, May 10, Det. Benedetti was shot and killed while serving a search warrant with other officers at an apartment on Camellia Court.
During his memorial service Thursday at the Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly, each of the speakers told stories about the fallen officer - stories of love, admiration and friendship.
"Luca was an example of the best we have to offer. He was courageous. He was compassionate. He was friendly, honorable and he was kind," said San Luis Obispo's new Police Chief Rick Scott.
At 37-years-old, Det. Benedetti's life of service was cut short.
"He understood that at any moment everything he cared about in this world could be taken away in an instant, and yet he wore his badge and he wore it with honor," Chief Scott said.
Most people now know of the San Luis Obispo police detective as a dedicated officer.
"Luca was passionate about keeping our streets safe and won several awards during his time as a police officer," said Sgt. Caleb Kemp, San Luis Obispo Police Department.
But beyond the badge, friends and coworkers say he was also a good father to his two young daughters, a loving husband to wife Grace, and a reliable friend.
Surrounded by those who knew him best inside the Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly, there was no shortage of tears but also some laughs. One of Benedetti's closest friends shared a story about their wives' gifts to them.
"Ryan and Grace got us this beer mug that says 'ring for service,' and by golly, we rung those bells a lot, and we continued to ring them until they magically disappeared somehow," described Michael Townsend.
Benedetti grew up in the Bay Area, a son of Italian immigrants. He moved to the Central Coast to study engineering at Cal Poly but his true passion was in law enforcement. He graduated from the Allan Hancock College Law Enforcement Academy and joined the Atascadero Police Department in 2008.
During his free time, Benedetti loved cooking and gardening.
"I was on his computer one time and opened up his browser history. First thing that popped up is a planting calendar for Paso Robles. He had bookmarked and planned his entire planting season," Townsend said.
As the heartbroken community continues to mourn his untimely death, loved ones vow to celebrate his life and continue his legacy
Through tears, Benedetti's cousin, Claudio Rivieccio, said, "Our beloved Luca will never be forgotten and will live in our hearts forever."
Following the service, a procession of law enforcement vehicles escorted Benedetti's coffin to the Paso Robles Cemetery for a private graveside service.