Remembering Christopher Farrar: Vigil held for Chandler police officer hit and killed by suspect

A memorial was held on Saturday for a Chandler police officer who died in the line of duty.

Christopher Farrar was killed on April 29 near the San Tan Motorplex. A second officer from the Gilbert Police Department, Rico Aranda, was critically injured and remains hospitalized.

Farrar, 50, was hit and killed by a suspect in a stolen car during a pursuit involving several law enforcement agencies.

Jonathan Altland, the suspect, was also hospitalized and Gilbert police say he is facing murder charges. His previous crimes include car theft and drug convictions.

Jonathan Altland

Jonathan Altland

At the memorial, which continues to grow outside the Chandler Police Department, mourners left flowers and flags at the agency where Farrar served.

Farrar was escorted to the medical examiner's office on April 30 by police and later to Greenlawn Mortuary and Cemetery.

Farrar was an officer for 18 years and at Compass Church, he worked voluntarily and was also a member for nearly four years. On May 1, there was a huge showing from the community to remember not only an officer, but a friend, brother, and husband.

"We lost a great man, an absolutely wonderful officer.. I lost a dear brother," said Earlonzo Hogue.

It was a tough day for the Compass Christian Church and the community of Chandler as they remembered Farrar.

"We want to honor him, but we also know that this is a time where people are grieving, so we want to give them a safe space where they can honor him, but grieve," said Brian Jobe, senior pastor at Compass Church.

Pastor Jobe says Officer Farrar was not only part of their Watchmen Team, a volunteer security team that kept people safe during worship, but a member of the church as well. The loss is shocking to everyone.

"I was like, are we waking up to a bad dream? Is this real?" asked Jobe.

Pastor Jaimi Weingartner says Officer Farrar was her backyard neighbor.

"He was such as happy person and always smiling and always there to help the community."

That smile was shown in a video sent to FOX 10 from a viewer, who says Officer Farrar was always helping people, then one day it was all caught on camera.

There's no word yet when Officer Farrar's memorial and funeral will be. The family is not ready to speak right now, but of course, we will keep you updated when the information becomes available.

Officer Aranda's condition improves

Officer Rico Arranda

Officer Rico Aranda

The Gilbert Police Department says Officer Rico Aranda is showing improvement after being critically injured.

A fundraiser is scheduled for him and his family on May 2 at Sweetz Cold Brew Coffee near Gilbert and Guadalupe Roads from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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