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Booths, tables and bar seats held a full crowd at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery, where a fundraiser for fallen Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Zackari Parrish brought just about double the normal amount of business to the restaurant Jan. 17.
Deputy Joseph Layman, one of the officers at the Highlands Ranch apartment during the incident in which Parrish, 29, was killed in an ambush-style shooting Dec. 31., gathered at Rock Bottom in Centennial with a large group of friends for the event. Layman knew Parrish since last spring, he said.
“This right here — the community,” Layman said of what has helped him most in the incident's aftermath. “The outpouring of support in this community has been monumental.”
Layman, who lives in Parker, hadn't been to Rock Bottom before the event, but the full room was one more show of support that's impressed him in the south metro area.
“The human element of this is amazing,” one man at a nearby table said to Layman, shaking his hand.
By chance, Layman met Steven Barry, assistant general manager for Rock Bottom, near Christmas at a restaurant in Parker. Barry's young son was excited to meet a police officer, and Layman showed him his vehicle. Douglas County deputies carry “comfort bears” in their patrol cars, Layman said, and he promised the son a police bear for Christmas. Layman dropped it off at his house.
Barry reached out to Layman shortly after news coverage of the incident in the following days.
“I thought, you know what? I have all these resources,” Barry said about planning the event. “Seeing (Parrish's) wife with those two little girls — that's what broke my heart. Thinking about what those three were going through, right after Christmas. It was heartbreaking.”
Maria and Wayne Gordon, who have been coming to Rock Bottom since the late 1990s, live in Highlands Ranch and heard about the event.
“It's really heartening to see people get behind officers, instead of what's been happening for the last five or six years,” Wayne Gordon, 53, said.
Rock Bottom named a sour craft beer ZPIII Sour in honor of Parrish and pledged to donate 25 cents from every ZPIII Sour sold to the Fallen Officer Fund of Douglas County Foundation. The restaurant is collecting additional donations and holding a silent auction throughout January, a promotional email said. The funds raised will directly benefit Parrish's family, the email said.
Barry said the amount of business Rock Bottom saw during the evening event is probably double what it usually would be.
To donate to the Fallen Officer Fund of Douglas County Foundation, a 501(c)3 that provides assistance to officers seriously injured in the line of duty and families of officers who are killed, visit dcsheriff.net/fallen-officer-fund.
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