About 250 people gathered in Lotus Park next to the American River Monday for a memorial for the man killed in Sacramento on New Year’s Eve.
“We don’t want to be here today,” an Army chaplain said, beginning the memorial for Spc. Daniel A. Ferrier, noting that Ferrier was “tragically killed.” Ferrier was described as “faithful to his friends, to his employer and to his country.”
The memorial continued with a prayer and reading of Psalm 23 by King David, who wrote the song after his own son died in combat.
Ferrier, born at Marshall Hospital in Placerville in 1976, enlisted in the Army in 1997. After basic training, he was deployed to Panama. After Panama, he transferred to the California National Guard. He was deployed to Kuwait and Iraq before returning home to work in construction, the chaplain told the assembled mourners. During his time serving the country, he earned the National Defense Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the Good Conduct Medal.
Described as “multitalented,” by the chaplain, Ferrier worked as a waiter, caterer and helped his father maintain Pioneer Plaza. But what he was most proud of, the chaplain said, was being a personal trainer. “He put in pride and effort as a personal trainer,” he said.
Ferrier was working as a bouncer at the Sports Corner Cafe in Sacramento on New Year’s Eve. The “trustworthy and responsible” man “stepped in harm’s way, and this insane person took his life,” the chaplain said.
After quoting Nancye Sims, the podium was turned over to Chad Seccombe, who had been Ferrier’s friend and workout partner for 20 years. Seccombe would meet his wife through Ferrier and would work out four days a week with him. “He was always concerned with all the little things in between, the details,” Seccombe said, noting he would often have to stop and wait for Ferrier.
Seccombe read a eulogy in the form of a written piece by Ferrier himself “after one of his better weeks,” Seccombe said. “‘I keep having the best week of my life until the next one comes,’” Seccombe quoted. When Ferrier was told some of his nights had been bad, he wrote that the sentiment was “Wrong, wrong, wrong.” Was the night he had to take his mother off life support bad? “Eh, no,” he wrote.
In his writing, Ferrier praised his parents, brother and friends. “The people in my life … I want you to live what you love,” he wrote. “Every week, you inspire me. I hope my life can help to inspire you more.”
Seccombe said that was his takeaway from Ferrier’s writing. Do what you love in life. Pay attention to the small details.”
Next, a statement written by Alisha Cook, another friend, was read by Cook’s younger sister, Joalea.
“He wasn’t just a guy,” Cook wrote. “He was ‘Dan the Man.’” Given the nickname for his “unheard of” chivalry, Ferrier believed nothing was unobtainable, she wrote.
In early August 2011, Cook told Ferrier that she was going to go rock climbing with friends and invited him along. He had planned to go skydiving that morning, she wrote, but he said he would be there anyway. Cook waited at a river crossing with her 4-year-old son as her friends moved on. She waited “and waited and waited” until Ferrier finally arrived. “Late, as usual.”
After crossing and making it to the wall to climb, she decided to free-climb to a tree while waiting for the others to finish climbing. Ferrier tried to warn her about free-climbing, as she was used to rappelling back down by rope, but she did it anyway. Once there, she realized her folly, but Ferrier told her to just follow him back down. Once on the ground, she said her actions were stupid. “Yes, but you did it,” Ferrier told her.
Coming back, the river crossing was too swift for simple crossing, so Ferrier organized getting a downed tree. The group used the tree to hold on to as they passed Cook’s son across, she wrote. “Seriously, who is that guy?” one of the group members asked after they were across. “That’s Dan, Dan the Man,” Cook replied.
“I’ve learned to live what I love, with no regrets,” Cook wrote. “He’s now a legend in his own right.”
Joalea mentioned that her sister would be visiting Centerfolds for the first time soon, to try the steak sandwich, a favorite of Ferrier’s, before stepping down from the podium.
The chaplain then said the Soldier’s Prayer, followed by a three-gun salute and a bugle playing Taps. Two soldiers unfolded a flag, which had been on a table with pictures of Ferrier on boxes — one with the slogan of the Website The Chive, “Keep Calm and Chive On,” inscribed on it, also displayed on T-shirts, cars and wreaths at the memorial — and his medals. After refolding the flag, one of the soldiers presented the flag to Ferrier’s brother David’s son.
The chaplain then ended the memorial with another prayer. A reception was to be held directly after the memorial at the Veteran’s Hall in Placerville.
Ferrier was allegedly shot and killed by Carlito Montoya, 22, while he was trying to break up a physical altercation at the bar, according to Sacramento PD. Another man, Gabriel Cordova, 35, was also killed. A 30-year-old female also sustained non-life-threatening wounds. A security guard who had confronted the suspect and exchanged gunfire with Montoya had also sustained gunshot wounds; the suspect was also shot in the exchange. Montoya was taken into custody as he tried to flee.
On Jan. 4, a male and female associated with Montoya were arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon related to the incident. Amber Scholz, 36, is believed by Sacramento PD to have instigated the incident. Her husband, Charles Fowler-Scholz, 34, was involved in the fight that Ferrier attempted to break up.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to call Crime Alert at 916-443-HELP (4357) or text in a tip to 274637 (CRIMES). Enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.