A 14-year California Highway Patrol veteran is the victim of Thursday night's shooting in northwest Bakersfield.
Officer Denny Drummond was a two-time cancer survivor, according to friends. They said Drummond recently learned his cancer had returned. A family spokesperson told 17 News that Drummond died from suicide.
Drummond was a Navy veteran who dedicated his life to protecting our community. His sudden death shocked friends and fellow officers and he is being remembered as a devoted family man and friend.
Drummond is described by friends as a proud family man. "He is probably, the most family-oriented officer I know," said Bryon Sandrini, President, Kern County Officer Down Foundation.
In fact, friends say family is all Drummond talked about. "Everything about the way he spoke, the way he planned, involved himself in the community, was about family," said T. Rockwell.
Drummond leaves behind his wife Amy, and two sons, 17-year-old Dakota and 11-year-old Riley. "Denny's irreplaceable. We're going to miss Denny," continued Rockwell.
Around 11:30 p.m. Thursday, Sheriff's deputies were called to a report of a man shot and a woman screaming at Karla Way off Rosedale Highway. When deputies got there, they found Drummond in the roadway with a gunshot wound to the head.
Deputies found Drummond's car nearby and a handgun inside believed to be used in the shooting. The Kern County Coroner's Office won't say whether his death is a homicide or suicide. But, a family spokesperson confirmed Drummond committed suicide.
"It's like losing a family member," explained Capt. Mike Cardoza, California Highway Patrol.
Drummond was a 14-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol.
"He's considered by all the officers to be not only a family man, but a well-liked man," continued Cardoza.
Friends said Drummond was a fighter. He survived two bouts with cancer. First, stomach cancer, then esophageal cancer.
"It was so inspiring to see him just take it on like a jouster and win that battle in so many ways," noted Rockwell.
But, Drummond's battle wasn't over. Friends said he recently learned the cancer had returned.
Drummond was facing another surgery and more chemotherapy, but he was still dedicated not only to his family, but the families of fallen officers.
"It's an absolute shock. It's an absolute shock as you can imagine," said Sandrini.
Drummond had been involved with the Kern County Officer Down Foundation since its inception in 2006. As a board member, Drummond helped raise money to support families of officers who've died in the line of duty.
"He was one of those guys you called, 'Hey Denny, we need this,' and he was there. He's ready to give back. He was a devoted family man and devoted to the community," continued Sandrini.
Now, the Officer Down Foundation, along with Drummond's friends and colleagues, turn their focus to the family Drummond left behind.