SACRAMENTO -- For the past two years, Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Stasyuk regularly patrolled Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, which was within his beat, at least a couple of times a week.
On Monday, Principal Laura Butler felt sheer fear in her heart upon learning that a shooting had taken place in Rancho Cordova involving sheriff's deputies. Just that morning Stasyuk had been at the school.
"I got an update on my phone that there had been a shooting and I said, 'God, that better not be Mark,'" Butler said.
It was a frightening thought for those at the school that the deputy they've come to know and love could be in any danger. However, news traveled fast and it wasn't long before Butler learned the devastating truth -- Stasyuk had died.
"My heart hurts for his family and his department," Butler said. "He was an amazing guy."
If he thought there was a problem "he was on it right away," Butler told FOX40.
At the timeout bench outside Principal Butler's office, no matter how busy he may have been, Deputy Stasyuk always stopped to connect with the kid who got into trouble.
"He would take time to sit and chat with them," Butler said. "He took the time to connect with the kids as well."
Stasyuk was also described as a selfless soul.
"He came to me and he brought me a Starbucks gift card to thank me. And I said, 'I should be thanking you. You're the one who's helping me.' He said, 'No, I just appreciate you,'" Butler recalled. "I think that shows a lot about his character. That he wanted to give me a gift when, in reality, I should have been giving him a gift for helping us out so much."
A memorial account has been set up for Stasyuk, which you can find here.