Galt residents remembered Roy Curtis Marcum — the animal control officer killed Wednesday when he went to a Galt house to retrieve animals — as someone who dedicated his life to helping animals.
"He was genuine and caring. Some of these guys are hardened, it's a 9-to-5 (job), but not Roy," Jean Kelly said Thursday at the crime scene at First Street and New Hope Road. "We need more people like him."
Marcum was shot when he was picking up dogs and cats from a home where the owner, 65-year-old Joseph Francis Corey, had been evicted the day before. No one was supposed to be in the residence.
As Marcum approached with two locksmiths — not a bank representative as originally reported — he was fatally shot through a closed front door.
"I can't understand the mentality of not even facing the person, but shooting through the door. That's beyond belief," said Galt resident Leroy Curry, who previously worked with Marcum to rescue an abandoned dog.
Curry choked up and then continued, "There has to be a way to turn back the clock. There's no way you can expect to go to a door and be shot. You shouldn't have to expect that as an animal control officer."
The two locksmiths both received superficial wounds and medics treated and released them on scene, Galt Police Lt. Jim Uptegrove said Thursday.
Marcum, 43, of Elk Grove, worked for the Sacramento County Animal Care and Regulation Department which contracts with Galt for animal control services.
Sacramento County Animal Shelter Director Dave Dickinson issued a statement, saying in part: "We are deeply saddened with the loss of Animal Control Officer Roy Marcum. Our condolences and prayers go out to Tina, his wife, their four children and Roy's entire family, as they try to cope with the loss of Roy.
"He was a good officer who loved animals and people, and was well-liked by all those who worked with him and the communities he served. He exemplified the very best qualities of an animal control officer," he said.
At the crime scene Thursday, Kelly stood behind yellow police tape with Eric, her 2-year-old bearded collie. Kelly recalled the man who helped her rescue horses and helped animals throughout Galt. She visited the neighborhood to pay her respects, she said.
For 14 years, Kelly owned a horse ranch nearby at the end of New Hope Road. She worked with Marcum on two horse abuse cases in the area.
She also recalled Marcum helping a pitbull that was dumped at an empty lot on New Haven Road, where dogs used for fighting are often abandoned.
"This guy approaches this pitbull not with fear but with compassion and scooped up this scared and injured dog," Kelly said. "He had the most gentle, compassionate spirit you can imagine."
Curry also came to the scene Thursday morning with his dog, April.
He, too, had worked with Marcum in the past to catch a pitbull. Curry had been feeding the injured animal for days, and Marcum asked for his help to catch the animal.
After six days, they finally were able to catch the dog. Marcum came to Curry's house several days later and told him that unfortunately, the dog had to be euthanized, but thanked him for his help to catch him.
"I really appreciated the fact that he took his time to stop by and let me know what happened," Curry said.
The entire Galt community will miss Marcum's dedication to helping animals, residents said.
"I'm really feeling the loss of a person who was so good-hearted and kind and so considerate of the animals. ... He will be badly missed in our community, because we love dogs and animals, and he had their best interest in mind," Curry said.
When contacted at their house, Marcum's family declined to speak to the media.
Marcum was an animal control officer for 14 years, David Dickinson, the county's director of animal control, told KCRA-TV. Dickinson said Marcum had helped out numerous times removing animals in homes following eviction notices before he was killed.
In Sacramento County, animal control officers are not sworn officers, so they are not armed.
Marcum is the second Sacramento County employee involved in a shooting in Galt this year.
In January, a Sheriff's deputy shot a suspect during an attempted burglary at It's A Grind, 10420 Twin Cities Road. Sinclair Willis, 27, survived and is in jail after being charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer and a violation of parole.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.