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Vigil remembers woman killed by Yuba City police
On the neatly manicured front lawn of 67-year-old Victoria Helen Roger-Vasselin, shot dead Thursday by Yuba City police, some 50 neighbors, friends and family members gathered Sunday evening for a candlelight vigil.
"Amazing Grace" brought tears to the face of Matt Biscotti, Vasselin's eldest son, 43, who remembered his mother, pictured nearby in a collage of photos, as having lived "like a movie star."
The stylish blonde doted on her sons and, he said, even bought him and his younger brother Porsche sports cars when they were just teenagers.
"Mom was my best friend. She always gave the best advice," Biscotti said. "My heart is broken."
Friends related how Roger-Vasselin recently began a dog-selling business, and was awaiting word from a New York publisher about a romance novel she had written.
"She was full of life," remembered a cousin, Ann Mathew Dais. "She was just a sparkle."
Roger-Vasselin's youngest son, Christian Biscotti, 41, thanked God that he and his family were "not alone in this tragedy."
On Thursday night, Christian Biscotti, a military chaplain stationed at Beale Air Force Base, arrived at the scene on Mariner Loop about an hour after the shooting occurred, which, according to police scanner traffic, had been at 10:20.
Police had already blocked off an area with crime scene tape that included more than a half dozen houses, and which precluded any view of the home's entrance.
It was in that entranceway that a U.S. census worker reportedly had been confronted by occupants brandishing weapons.
According to a police incident log, officers were initially called to the scene at 9:04.
Roger-Vasselin's fiancé, Lionel "Lonnie" Craig Patterson was later arrested and booked into the Sutter County Jail.
Christian Biscotti was told by police when he arrived that he could not approach the crime scene area.
On Sunday, he told mourners gathered on his mother's property that he hoped to "settle mom's name, and what happened here."
Two holes in the outside wall of the home's vestibule and a rectangle of drywall removed from inside are the only remaining signs of what one neighbor said had been a quick series of shouts and shots.
CONTACT Nancy Pasternack at 749-4712 or at email@example.com