SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — They were newlyweds just beginning to build a life and home together when their dreams were shattered.
Tuesday marks one year since the death of Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Stasyuk. Deputy Stasyuk was killed in the line of duty.
“Anxiety and hurt and pain, and anger just built up and built up, and today, the day before it’s almost unbearable,” said the deputy’s wife Amy Stasyuk.
She told CBS13 she’s speaking out to show her gratitude for her law enforcement community and total strangers who “stepped up” to finish a family project started by her late husband. Wearing his wedding band and replica badge around her neck, Amy says she’s just been trying to cope.
“Just trying to get through, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment, making sure to wake up every morning and get out of bed,” she said.
Deputy Mark Stasyuk was just 27 years old when he was shot and killed in a shootout with a suspect outside a Pep Boys in Rancho Cordova, as he was trying to protect innocent bystanders.
“I wish I could feel him, not his presence, but just to put my hand on him. I would give anything to do that one more time,” said Amy.
At the time of the shooting, Mark and Amy were newlyweds, just six months married. They had moved into their new home with big plans of transforming it. But just as Mark had gutted his backyard, ready to build his wife the garden and greenhouse of her dreams, he was killed. His project was left unfinished until help came along.
“We tore up all the old concrete all the way around the house, the fences and trees,” said Kevin Mickelson, President of the
Sacramento County Deputy Sheriffs Association.
The Sacramento County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association stepped up and with the help of nine area contractors, they picked up where Mark left off.
“Mark wasn’t here to do that, and there was no way Amy was gonna pull it off. So I made a couple phone calls and in a matter of weeks, it was like a beehive of people,” said Mickelson.
In two months– the volunteer crews turned the mess of debris and concrete and dirt into what has now become a healing and therapy space for Amy.
“They created this pathway, and this whole different side, almost like a park,” she said.
Today, RCPD and @sacsheriff unveiled a new bench and plaque in honor of RCPD Officer/Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Stasyuk at Pep Boys in Rancho Cordova where Officer Stasyuk made the ultimate sacrifice. We invite you to visit the new memorial. #NeverForget pic.twitter.com/Vy2dJEkXTd
— Rancho Cordova PD (@RanchoCordovaPD) September 16, 2019
A pathway of rocks that leads to a garden and a greenhouse.
“These are cucumbers which obviously grow like weeds, then we have zucchini and tomatoes,” said Amy.
While Amy says she wishes she could share the garden with Mark, she’s grateful for all the love and support. She says the garden will remain as a reminder of her husband’s commitment to her and her family.
“He’d be proud of his brothers for finishing his project, for stepping up and being there for me, to complete this for him,” she said. “I’m forever thankful, I will always feel that love from people I don’t even know, or I can’t even thank.”