Police, family and friends say goodbye to fallen Mesa officer

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday night at Coronado Park in Phoenix. By Jennifer Thomas A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday night at Coronado Park in Phoenix. By Jennifer Thomas
A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday night at Coronado Park in Phoenix. By Jennifer Thomas A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday night at Coronado Park in Phoenix. By Jennifer Thomas
A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday night at Coronado Park in Phoenix. By Jennifer Thomas A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday night at Coronado Park in Phoenix. By Jennifer Thomas
A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday night at Coronado Park in Phoenix. By Jennifer Thomas A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday night at Coronado Park in Phoenix. By Jennifer Thomas

MESA, Ariz. -- Mesa police, along with officers from all across the Valley, are coming together Friday morning to honor Sgt. Brandon Mendoza, who was killed by a wrong-way drunk driver earlier this week.

The 32-year-old was driving home around 1 a.m. Monday after a late night at work when investigators say he was hit head-on by Raul Silva Corona at the Interstate 10/U.S. 60 interchange.

All week, tributes have been pouring in for Mendoza. A makeshift memorial was set up for him at Guerrero Park. People were coming by around the clock leaving personal handwritten messages and flowers.

Mendoza personally took the initiative to clean up Guerrero Park so that kids could safely play baseball there.

Guerrero stands for warrior and that's the kind of officer Mendoza is described as. The Mesa police chief said he showed what it meant to be a community officer -- always going above and beyond for others.

Mendoza was posthumously promoted to the rank of sergeant.

Services start at 10 a.m. at All Saints Catholic Church, 1534 N. Recker Road, in Mesa.

Immediately following the service, around 11:30 a.m., there's a large procession planned from the church to the Queen of Heaven Cemetery where Mendoza will be laid to rest.