Phoenix neighbors hold vigil for fallen Mesa police officer - CBS 5 - KPHO

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Phoenix neighbors hold vigil for fallen Mesa police officer

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Candlelight vigil in Phoenix for Brandon Mendoza. Candlelight vigil in Phoenix for Brandon Mendoza.
Candlelight vigil in Phoenix for Brandon Mendoza. Candlelight vigil in Phoenix for Brandon Mendoza.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A Mesa police officer, killed in a head-on crash early Monday, is being remembered across the Valley.

Officer Brandon Mendoza seemed to have made a positive impact wherever he went - whether it was in Mesa, where he worked, or in Phoenix where he lived.

Wednesday night, dozens of his friends and neighbors gathered at Coronado Park in Phoenix for a candlelight vigil.

"It's our individual responsibilities to go above and beyond our jobs, to seek out places where we can make a difference and then to do it," said Mendoza's neighbor, Don Mertes. "That's what he's taught me."

Everyone seemed to have a story to share about Mendoza, and just saying his name made people smile.

"It's obvious when you meet him, he's just a really caring person ," said neighbor Eric Peterson. "I wish I'd had longer to know him."

Mendoza's friends said he was an amazing man who loved people and animals.

They said Mendoza lived life to the fullest and didn't take anything for granted.

"I'll miss that such a compassionate person has left this Earth too soon - because there was nothing or no one he wouldn't help," said Mendoza's friend, Melissa Simpson.

Several members of the Mesa Police Department also attended the Phoenix vigil.

They said it's moving to see their "brother" honored across the Valley.

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