At 10:07 p.m. on Monday, January 18, 2021, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office Deputies observed an occupied vehicle in a parking lot near Arden Way and Avondale Avenue that matched the description of a vehicle involved in a burglary series. Deputies initiated contact with the single occupant of the vehicle and were able to identify the subject as being on active parole. The subject became uncooperative and fled in his vehicle when deputies attempted to search the vehicle. A short pursuit ensued that terminated inside of the Cal Expo Fairgrounds Complex when the suspect vehicle became disabled after striking a curb. Multiple patrol units arrived on scene to assist the initial deputies. Deputies gave several commands for the suspect to exit his vehicle and he refused. Deputies deployed less-lethal “bean bag” rounds into the suspect vehicle’s back window in an attempt to see inside. A K-9 handler deployed his K-9 into the back window of the vehicle at which time several shots were fired from within the vehicle. Two deputies and the canine were struck by the suspect’s gunfire. Multiple deputies returned fire.
The wounded officers were transported by deputies in patrol units to an area hospital. Deputy Adam Gibson, age 31 and a 6-year veteran of the department, was pronounced deceased at the hospital. A second deputy was stabilized and transported to a trauma center for further treatment. K-9 Riley died at the scene. The sole occupant of the suspect vehicle was pronounced deceased at the scene by fire personnel.
Deputy Adam Gibson is survived by his wife Rachel Gibson and their 9 month old child, his parents Doug and Sandee Gibson, and several siblings.
Deputy Gibson was a United States Marine Corps veteran who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. Since joining the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office in 2014, he worked in corrections, patrol, and most recently as a canine handler. Deputy Gibson received the Sheriff’s Office Bronze Star for Bravery and a Major Incident Ribbon in 2018.
A memorial fund has been established through the CAHP Credit Union. Donations can be made online: https://cahpcu.org/DeputyAdamGibsonMemorialFund …or checks can be mailed to:
Deputy Adam Gibson Memorial Fund
PO Box 276507
Sacramento, CA 95827
Detective Jose Cruz Mora of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office passed away on September 7, 2020 after contracting the COVID-19 virus. Immediately prior to his death, Detective Mora had been working two separate investigations, a homicide and a kidnapping, which involved interviewing many witnesses, serving warrants, and traveling to Merced and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. While in Oklahoma City on August 17, 2020, Detective Mora began experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. On August 21, 2020, Detective Mora was admitted to Clovis Community Hospital, where he tested positive for the virus. He remained hospitalized until succumbing to the illness on September 7, 2020.
Detective Mora, age 44, was a 16-year veteran of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. He is survived by his wife and four children.
On Sunday, October 18, 2020, Sergeant Harry Cohen and his assigned deputies participated in a Quarterly Physical Fitness Qualification (PFQ) at the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Enforcement Bureau Fitness Training Facility. At approximately 1714 hours, prior to completion of the PFQ, Sergeant Cohen was observed by his deputies to be in distress, appearing to have collapsed. Deputies immediately began lifesaving measures and requested paramedics to the scene.
Sergeant Cohen was transported to Riverside University Health System Hospital via Sheriff’s helicopter. Despite heroic lifesaving efforts, Sergeant Cohen was pronounced deceased at 1815 hours. Based on autopsy results, the preliminary cause of death was a heart attack.
Sergeant Cohen was a 24 year veteran of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, having served most notably as a regional expert pertaining to Police K9 Tactics, dog behavior training, and the professional development of junior deputies and officers.
Sergeant Cohen, age 48, is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.
On November 23, 2020, at approximately 7:05 pm, Officer Andy Ornelas of the CHP Antelope Valley Area Office was responding to assist with a traffic collision on SR-14. While on his way to the scene, a motorist pulled from the right shoulder to make a U-turn directly in his path. Officer Ornelas’ motorcycle struck the other vehicle causing him to be thrown from his motorcycle. Officer Ornelas sustained multiple injuries and was transported to Antelope Valley Hospital in critical condition.
Despite significant life-saving efforts by medical personnel, on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, Officer Ornelas succumbed to his injuries.
Officer Ornelas, age 27, was a four-year veteran of the Department. He had been assigned to the Antelope Valley Area since December 2019. He followed in the footsteps of his mother, Kellie, who is a retired CHP officer from the same Antelope Valley Area office, and his father, Arturo, a motorcycle officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. He is survived by his wife, Taylor; a brother, Cody, who is a CHP officer assigned to the Central Los Angeles Area office; his sister, Nikki; and an uncle, retired CHP Captain Andreas Ornelas.
A memorial fund has been set up through the CAHP Credit Union. You can make donations on their website, or mail a check to:
Officer Andy Ornelas Memorial Fund
PO Box 276507
Sacramento, CA 95827
On March 31, 2020, Detective Marylou Armer of the Santa Rosa Police Department passed away due to complications from COVID-19. Detective Armer, age 43, was a 20-year veteran of the Santa Rosa Police Department, beginning her service as a Field Evidence Technician in 1999. She became a Police Officer in May 2008 and served in the DVSA unit as a Detective where she was dedicated to protecting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Detective Armer is survived by her husband and daughter.
At approximately 1:30pm on Saturday, June 6, 2020, the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office received a call reporting a suspicious van in a turnout near Jamison Creek Road in Boulder Creek. The caller reported guns and bomb making materials were visible inside the van.
As deputies arrived on scene they witnessed the van leaving the area driven by a man later identified as Steven Carrillo. They followed the vehicle to a home on Waldeberg Road in Ben Lomond where they were ambushed by gunfire and multiple improvised explosive devices. Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller was struck by gunfire and, tragically, his injuries were not survivable. A second deputy was wounded by gunfire or shrapnel and struck by a vehicle as the suspect fled the scene. A California Highway Patrol Officer was also struck in the hand by gunfire.
Multiple responding agencies pursued Carrillo after receiving a report of a nearby carjacking. Carrillo, wounded while being placed under arrest, was treated at the hospital and released into custody. He will be charged with the first-degree murder of Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller and multiple additional felonies.
Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller, age 38, was a 14-year veteran of Santa Cruz Co. Sheriff’s Office currently serving as a Patrol Supervisor. Sheriff Jim Hart described him as courageous, intelligent, sensitive, and a caring man. Sergeant Gutzwiller is survived by his wife and their young child. His wife is pregnant with their second child.
In the early morning hours of April 2, 2020, Deputy Terrell Young, a 15-year veteran of the Riverside Sheriff’s Department, passed away from complications related to the COVID-19 virus.
Deputy Young had been assigned to the Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta. At the time, 18 inmates tested positive for COVID-19. During the week of March 16, 2020 Deputy Young escorted a COVID-19 positive inmate to the Riverside University Health System Medical Center in Moreno Valley. Deputy Young returned the inmate to his cell at the detention center that same day. On March 22, Deputy Young arrived at his work station at the jail and fell ill, reporting a fever. On March 26, Deputy Young was diagnosed as COVID-19 positive. On March 27, Deputy Young was admitted to the intensive care unit at Loma Linda Hospital in Murrieta with complaints of respiratory distress. He was subsequently diagnosed with respiratory failure and placed on a mechanical ventilator. On April 2, Deputy Young developed bradycardia. Although ICU personnel attempted advanced lifesaving measures, Deputy Young tragically passed away at 0330.
Deputy Terrell Young, age 52, is survived by his wife of 31 years and four children.
In the early morning hours of Wednesday, October 23, 2019, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office received a request for service for suspected theft at a residential marijuana grow in the area of Sand Ridge Road and Mt. Aukumn Road in Somerset. Deputy Brian Ishmael responded to the call and was immediately ambushed and struck by gunfire. Deputy Ishmael’s ride-along, an off-duty Deputy from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, returned fire, striking one of the suspects and also taking gunfire himself. Tragically, Deputy Ishmael’s injuries were not survivable. The SJSO Deputy underwent surgery and was released from the hospital.
The wounded male suspect was transported to the hospital and a second suspect was taken into custody as deputies continued to search the area for any remaining suspects. The investigation determined the person who requested service had a business relationship with the two suspects and was not truthful with dispatchers in his initial 911 call. That individual was arrested and charged with murder. The other two suspects have been charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon, and accessory to murder, respectively.
Deputy Brian Ishmael, age 37, was a 4-year veteran with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office and previously served two years with the Placerville Police Department. Deputy Ishmael is survived by his wife and three children.
The CAHP Credit Union has established a memorial fund for the Ishmael family: https://cahpcu.org/DeputyBrianIshmaelMemorialFund?fbclid=IwAR0sBBLGvl2vsO6cZbLuQ2CSSrpBPCY5mDOssXan8ZLeWX3mtb2mrNN4ypg
Donations can also be sent to:
Deputy Brian Ishmael Memorial Fund
PO Box 276507
Sacramento, CA 95827
At approximately 5:37pm on Monday, August 12, 2019, Officer Andre Moye, Jr., of the CHP Riverside Area Office conducted a traffic stop on a white GMC truck in the area of Box Springs Boulevard and Eastridge Avenue, just west of Interstate 215.
During the traffic stop Officer Moye determined the truck should be impounded. As Officer Moye processed the paperwork and called for a tow, the driver returned to his vehicle, retrieved a rifle, and opened fire on Officer Moye. Despite suffering life threatening wounds, Officer Moye was able to call for backup. Three CHP officers arrived on scene and immediately engaged the suspect. Two of those officers were struck by gunfire. Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies and Riverside Police officers also responded to the scene, exchanging gunfire with the suspect. “It was a long and horrific gun battle, and resulted in a very extensive crime scene,” said Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz.
The suspect was killed at the scene. He was later identified as 49-year old Aaron Luther, a member of the Vagos motorcycle gang.
Officer Moye was airlifted to Riverside University Health System Medical Center. Tragically, he succumbed to his injuries in flight. The two wounded CHP officers are expected to recover.
Officer Andre Moye, age 33, was assigned to the Riverside office after graduating from the CHP Academy on March 3, 2017. He previously worked as an electrician, but had dreamed of being an officer since he was a child. He is survived by his wife, Sara, his parents, siblings, and large extended family.
Additional details and funeral information will be provided as available.
On the afternoon of April 21, 2018, Officer Gallegos and another officer were attempting to search an inmate in the day room of the Kern Valley State Prison’s Minimum Support Facility when the inmate became combative and attacked the two officers. Up to 11 additional inmates joined the assault and continued to severely beat both officers. Responding officers intervened with physical force and pepper spray. All inmates were eventually subdued. Officer Gallegos was transported to a local hospital suffering from severe injuries to his face, head and neck, including a fractured vertebrae. After an extended hospital stay and rehabilitation, Officer Gallegos returned to his home for additional recuperation. While at his residence, he suffered complications from the injuries and collapsed. Consequently, he was transported via ambulance to the hospital where he succumbed to the trauma and passed away.
Officer Gallegos, age 56, was born in Hanford and was one of 10 siblings. He graduated from Corcoran High School in 1980 and enlisted in the United States Navy a few years later. He served his country for 20 years and earned several accolades, including the National Service Defense Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and the Kuwait Liberation Medal. Officer Gallegos began his career at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano after graduating from the Basic Correctional Officer Academy in 2005.
Officer Gallegos is survived by his wife of 19 years, Irma Gallegos, as well as many family members and friends.