Bonnelle and Sorensen knew each other pretty well because the young man used to deliver hay to the deputy's house. Sorensen told Bonnelle he was disappointed, but that he'd vouch for the teenager's character to the judge.
"Some cops are on a power trip. He wasn't on a power trip,' Bonnelle said. "He seemed like a pretty cool guy."
Signs of Sorensen's absence were everywhere Monday. It was the talk of the Burger Basket. A jar set up to collect donations on the counter of a convenience store was stuffed with bills. In front of the nearby sheriff's substation, children had written in colored chalk, "You will be missed," and "We won't forget."
Ruth Marks, a member of the Lake Los Angeles Rural Town Council, spent the day organizing a tribute to Sorensen, scheduled for 6 p.m. today at Lake Los Angeles Park, which some have already proposed naming after the fallen deputy.
"Knowing we had Steve around was always a good feeling, a feeling of security," Marks said.
Replacing Sorensen will be difficult, county firefighter Sanford Hofmann said. He had accompanied Sorensen on many local calls and was amazed by the deputy's knowledge of the terrain and its denizens.
"You just can't ask another deputy to know the community the way he knew it," Hofmann said.