Brian Ishmael remembered as ‘devoted father,’ committed El Dorado deputy at memorial service

The memorial service Tuesday for Brian Ishmael, who died Oct. 23, remembered the slain El Dorado Sheriff’s deputy as a “devoted father” and “dedicated husband.”

He was a “man who loved his friends and family with everything that he had,” said Ishmael’s friend, Wes Kohutek.

More than 3,000 people attended the service at Bayside Church Adventure in Roseville, which has previously hosted services for fallen officers such as Sacramento Police Officer Tara O’Sullivan and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputies Mark Stasyuk, Robert French and Danny Oliver.

Blue ribbons were tied to the trees lining the road to the church, and adorned the doors leading to the church’s sanctuary.

Ishmael was working at an auto body shop when he decided to make a career change to law enforcement. He attended a police academy in 2012 and joined the Placerville Police Department where he worked as a field training officer, school resource officer, and armorer.

Ishmael joined the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office in 2015.

At the memorial service, El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini told the crowd of the time he spent with Ishmael at the hospital, his body draped in an American flag.

“I placed my hand on that flag on his chest and I said three things: thank you, we got this and your sacrifice will not be in vain,” he said.

“Ladies and gentelman, I’m honored to have known Brian,” he said.

Ishmael was fatally shot in the line of duty when responding to a 911 call reporting stolen marijuana plants on Sand Ridge and Mt. Aukum Road in the town of Somerset, a rural community about 10 miles southeast of Placerville.

Four men were arrested in connection to his death and are being held on suspicion of violating federal and state marijuana laws.

In a news conference after Ishmael’s death, D’Agostini said Ishmael was “easy to talk to” and “never had a bad day.”

Ishmael is survived by his wife, Katie, two daughters, Prudence and Zoey, and a son, Cash.

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Molly Sullivan covers crime, breaking news and police accountability for The Bee. She grew up in Northern California and is an alumna of Chico State.