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Part of I-25 to be closed Friday for funeral procession of Douglas County deputy Zackari Parrish

Posted at 9:32 PM, Jan 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-04 00:45:48-05

DENVER – An 18-mile stretch of northbound I-25 will be closed Friday morning as law enforcement pays its respects for fallen Douglas County deputy Zackari Parrish, who was shot and killed early on New Year’s Eve in an ambush-style attack.

I-25 northbound will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday for Parrish’s funeral procession, a news release from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office states.

Deputies said you should expect long delays and use alternate routes to get to where you need to go Friday morning.

A motorcade will follow the family procession to Cherry Hills Community Church before the ceremony to honor his memory begins. The following rolling closures will take place:

  • Northbound on I-25 from Plum Creek Parkway to Lincoln Avenue
  • Westbound on Lincoln, then University, to Wildcat Reserve Parkway
  • Southbound from Wildcat Reserve Parkway to Grace Boulevard
  • Westbound on Grace Boulevard to Cherry Hills Community Church

If you want to watch the funeral procession and motorcade, you are asked to use the sidewalks along Lincoln and University on the route.

Funeral services for Parrish will be held at Cherry Hills Community Church starting at 11 a.m. The church is located at 3900 Grace Boulevard in Highlands Ranch.

Family's pastor discusses details

Pastor Craig Smith says he is expecting around 2,000 law enforcement officers to attend the funeral. He's been working with the family and the Douglas County Sheriff's Office to coordinate the details.

"Their faith will absolutely be an important part, their faith in Jesus will be front and center in this because that’s what they’re clinging to, that’s where their hope is coming from right now," said Pastor Smith with Mission Hills Church.

In addition to law enforcement traditions, he is working to incorporate some special elements into the service. The pastor who married Zack and his wife Gracie will give the message.

Information for the public wishing to attend the ceremony

The public is asked to arrive early as parking and seating are limited. No public entry will be allowed into the venue after 10:45 a.m., an official with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said.

Once you enter, please wait to be seated by an usher.

Pastor Smith is worried the venue will run out of space so although the service is open to the public he is asking people who do not know the family to consider another way of showing their support.

The sheriff’s office asks that you refrain from bringing bags inside the church. If you must bring a bag, they must be clear or see-through. Any other bags will be subject to inspection and may not be allowed inside the ceremony.

Cell phones or any other small recording devices will not be allowed into the ceremony, per a request from the family.

Parrish was one of five law enforcement officers who were shot by 37-year-old Matthew Riehl at a Douglas County apartment during the early morning hours of New Year’s Eve. Three other Douglas County deputies were injured, as was a Castle Rock police officer.


IN-DEPTH: The events that led to tragedy in Douglas County