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New memorial honors fallen King County deputies

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SEATTLE — In King County, sixteen sheriff’s deputies have been killed in the line of duty since 1854. The last death happened in 2006.

“It’s been a long time coming but today is that day,” said King County Sheriff John Urquhart.

For many, it was a tearful moment as they read the name of their loved one written on a new memorial at the King County Courthouse. All, King County Sheriff’s deputies killed in the line of duty.

“Deputy Donald Armeni, killed in 1954," said Urquhart as he read the names of fallen deputies.

Family members placed roses at the memorial to remember brothers, sons, and fathers.

“My dad was shot and killed, and one deputy was shot and wounded,” said Donald Armeni, son of Deputy Donald Armeni, who was shot and killed in September of 1954.

From 60-plus years ago to 2006, the last time a deputy was gunned down.

“That man pulled out a weapon and shot and killed Deputy Cox,” said Urquhart.

“Losing Steve was a big loss to our family,” said Deputy Steve Cox’s brother Ron Cox.

Today is the 10th anniversary of Deputy Cox’s death.

“We celebrate Steve’s life on his birthday and December 2."

The new memorial stretches back to 1854 when shields were stars, but the dangers were the same.

“Deputy Herzog encountered a naked, unarmed man in the city of Newcastle,” said Urquhart.

For the family of many of these fallen officers, this is a way to keep their memories alive.

“Their names will always be there, and people will know the sacrifice they made, and that’s what goes on day to day when police officers go out and do their jobs,” said Richard Cochran II’s sister, Betsy Stratton.

In some ways, those fallen officers live on when someone reads their name on this wall.

“It just shows them, and it shows everybody that they aren’t forgotten, and their sacrifices will always be remembered,” Mike Brown, older brother of fallen Deputy Mark Brown.