Deputies, police and community members gather for National Night Out

Deputy Dhaliwal was the Homeland Security director of United Sikhs, United National Affiliated Charity.

On Tuesday night, that group held a prayer circle at the scene where he was murdered.

People gathered on a street covered in candles, memorials and flags in honor of Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal.

The event was held less than a block away from the National Night Out festivities, where many who knew him came out to celebrate his life.

Himmat Rai, the nephew of Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, attended the National Night Out that his uncle used to participate in.

This time, the night was in honor of the deputy who paved the way Sikhs practicing their faith in the line of duty.

“He was the first police officer to keep his turban, so it really hit me even harder, like dang, this is really happening. He’s making history,” Rai said.

Rai recalls the phone conversation he had with his uncle nearly 10 minutes before he was killed.

“He called me Putra, which means son. And he’s like, ‘Hi Putra. Give the phone to your dad.’ I was like, ‘I’m too old for that.’ He’s like, ‘You’re always going to be a son to me.’”

The deputy who joined the force about the same time as Deputy Dhaliwal and worked alongside him also celebrated his life at National Night Out.

“I love it. The support and the reach that he had means a lot. It’s sad that he’s not here for National Night Out as much as he has been, and everybody knows him because of his contribution to national night out and what he means to this community especially,” HCSO Deputy Luis Garcia said.

FOX 26’s Ivory Hecker spoke with the Sikh religious leader who encouraged deputy Dhaliwal to put on the turban as a deputy. He was not wearing it when he joined the force.