At approximately 4:35am on Sunday, August 22, 2021, Galt Police Officers Harminder Grewal and Kapri Herrera were traveling northbound on Highway 99 on their way to assist with the Caldor Fire in El Dorado County. Just north of Dillard Road in Sacramento County, a Dodge Ram pickup truck traveling southbound on Highway 99 hit the center median, broke through a barrier and entered the northbound lanes, striking the officers’ patrol vehicle head-on. Both officers had to be extricated from the vehicle and were transported to the hospital in critical condition. The pickup driver was pronounced deceased at the scene by fire personnel. Two other passengers in the pickup, both 26-year-old men, were hospitalized with injuries described as moderate. The CHP said it was not known whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the collision.
Tragically, Officer Grewal’s injuries were not survivable and he passed away on Thursday, August 26th. Officer Herrera was most recently listed in critical, but stable condition.
Officer Grewal was a 2½ year veteran of the Galt Police Department. He is survived by his parents, brother, and a countless number of family, friends, and loved ones.
On November 12, 2003, while on patrol, Officer Dan Walters and his partner stopped to cover another officer on a traffic stop involving a violent domestic disturbance in progress in Southeastern Division. Unbeknownst to Officer Walters, the initial officer had just been shot at and hit in the handcuff case. As Officer Walters exited his vehicle, the suspect advanced and pointed a handgun at Officer Walters’ face. Officer Walters attempted to disarm the suspect and during the struggle, the suspect shot Officer Walters in the neck. As he fell into the street, Officer Walters was struck by a passing motorist, causing additional traumatic injuries. Officer Walters was transported to a local hospital where it was determined he was paralyzed from the neck down and sustained several other serious medical injuries.
The suspect was shot by officers and later died. The surviving officer credits Officer Dan Walters with saving his life.
Officer Walters remained paralyzed and had to endure countless surgeries and medical procedures to address a multitude of medical issues arising from the original injuries. Tragically, on April 23, 2020, Officer Dan Walters succumbed to complications from the injuries he sustained on November 12, 2003.
Officer Walters had served with the San Diego Police Department for five years at the time of the incident that ultimately took his life. Before serving with the San Diego Police Department, Officer Walters was drafted by the Houston Astros and played two seasons of Major League Baseball with the San Diego Padres.
On February 17, 2021, Sergeant Richard P. Brown passed away from complications related to the COVID-19 virus.
Sergeant Brown was a 28-year veteran of the Fresno Police Department and served many different assignments over his long career, including the Training Unit, SWAT, and Mounted Patrol. At the time of his death he was assigned to Patrol in the Central District.
Sergeant Richard Paul Brown, age 55, is survived by his wife and three children.
On Saturday, November 14, 2020, Deputy Probation Officer II Julio Beltran passed away from complications related to the COVID-19 virus.
Officer Beltran was a seven-year veteran of the Riverside County Probation Department who began his career in 2013. He worked with both juvenile and adult clients at assignments with Juvenile Services Division, Southwest Services Division, Special Services Division, and supervised an adult caseload in his most recent assignment with the Central Services Division.
Colleagues remember Officer Beltran as a vibrant, funny, and endearing person who was dedicated to helping clients in his care make positive changes in their lives. He is also remembered for the extra time he took assisting colleagues and mentoring young Probation Officers.
Officer Julio Beltran, age 34, is survived by his wife, son, and parents.
On the afternoon of Sunday, July 25th, at approximately 1:00pm, Deputies from the Kern County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call reporting an armed man, the subject of a restraining order, was at a home near the intersection of 1st Street and Poplar Avenue in Wasco. Screaming and gunfire could be heard in the background of the 911 call.
Responding deputies encountered a woman fleeing the home who stated at least two people inside the home had been shot. The suspect fired at deputies then barricaded himself in the home. The agency’s SWAT team was deployed and a standoff ensued. At approximately 3:00pm the suspect opened fire on members of the SWAT team as they approached the home. Deputy Phillip Campas and another deputy were struck by the gunfire. Both Deputies were transported to a local hospital where, tragically, Deputy Campas succumbed to his wounds.
At approximately 6:28pm, the suspect, armed with an AK-47 rifle and a handgun, climbed onto the home’s roof where he exchanged gunfire with deputies, according to Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood.
The suspect was shot and killed in the exchange. Inside the house deputies found three people deceased with gunshot wounds — a woman, age 42, and two males, age 24 and 17. The two male victims were the suspect’s sons, and the woman was their mother, the Sheriff said.
Deputy Phillip Campas, age 35, was a five-year veteran of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who served in Afghanistan. He is survived by his wife and three young children, age 6, 9, and 13.
On the afternoon of Monday, May 31, 2021, the Memorial Day holiday, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputies were conducting extra patrol for off-highway vehicle violations in the desert area north of Highway 62 and west of Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms. At approximately 2:00pm deputies attempted a vehicle stop on a motorcyclist near Paxton Road and Imperial Drive. The rider fled on the motorcycle, leading deputies on a pursuit that ended near Dumosa Avenue and Sunnyslope Drive, where they found the motorcycle abandoned. Deputies approached the motorcycle, not realizing they were walking into an ambush. “The (motorcycle) rider started firing at the responding deputies. One of our deputies was struck by the gunfire,” reported San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon. Deputies returned fire and the suspect died at the scene. The Sheriff’s Department did not immediately release the name of the suspect.
Sergeant Dominic Vaca was airlifted to a nearby hospital, where despite all lifesaving measures, “…the gunshot wound he sustained earlier today was too severe for him to overcome,” Sheriff McMahon said in a video posted to social media Monday evening. Our prayers are with him and his family as we all mourn this difficult time.”
Sergeant Dominic Vaca, age 43, was a 17 year veteran of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
At approximately 9:45am on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, Stockton Police Officer Jimmy Inn responded to a disturbance call in the 4400 block of La Cresta Way. The caller reported hearing screaming, saw a woman with a ripped shirt who was bleeding, and appeared to have been assaulted. Shortly after arriving on scene, Officer Inn was in front of the residence when he was shot by the suspect. Another Uniformed Stockton Police Officer arrived on scene and fired his duty weapon at the suspect. The suspect briefly entered his home and returned moments later holding a young child. The suspect began to strangle the child and refused to comply with the officer’s commands. A community member tackled the suspect and as the officer approached, the officer discharged his duty weapon, striking the suspect.
Stockton Police Officer Jimmy Inn was transported to a local hospital where he died from his injuries. The suspect was also transported to an area hospital and also died from his injuries.
Officer Jimmy Inn, age 30, was hired by the Stockton Police Department in December 2015 and was currently assigned to the Field Operations Division. He was also a member of the SPD Honor Guard. Officer Inn is survived by his wife, Tela, who is also a Stockton Police Officer, a 7-month-old son, a 12-year-old stepdaughter, and a 14-year-old stepson.
At approximately 5:00pm on Monday, May 10, 2021, six SLOPD officers were serving a search warrant for possible stolen property related to a series of recent commercial burglaries. The officers approached the suspect’s apartment and provided “knock and notice” identifying themselves as law enforcement as required by California Penal Code 844. After an extended period of time and having received no response, they forced entry. The suspect, Edward Zamora Giron, age 37, was lying in wait and immediately opened fire on the officers from inside the apartment. Officers returned fire, but tragically two officers were shot during the exchange of gunfire and Detective Luca Benedetti, age 37, was killed. Detective Steve Orozco was transported to Sierra Vista Hospital where he was treated and released. The suspect was later found deceased inside the apartment with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound along with injuries from the officers’ return fire.
Detective Benedetti is survived by his wife and two young children. He joined the San Luis Obispo Police Department in 2012 and before that served for four years with the Atascadero Police Department. He is remembered as, “a dedicated officer, a talented detective, a proud member of the San Luis Obispo Regional SWAT Team, and most importantly, a loving husband and father.”
On the evening of February 26, 2021, Officer Jose Anzora of the Los Angeles Police Department was struck by a car while directing traffic on foot at the scene of vehicle collision near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Woodlawn Avenue. Officer Anzora was rushed to a hospital in critical condition, where he remained until his passing on March 3rd. The driver who struck Anzora remained on scene and cooperated with the investigation.
Officer Anzora, age 31, began protecting and serving the people of Los Angeles in 2011, most recently in Newton Area, where he spent the majority of his career. He is survived by his wife, Heather, his mother, and extended family.
On December 28, 2020, Fresno Police Officer Angel DeLaFuente passed away from complications related to the COVID-19 virus.
Officer DeLaFuente was a 20-year veteran of the Fresno Police Department. Throughout most of his career he was assigned to the Southeast district of the City of Fresno serving the community as a uniformed patrol officer, District Crime Suppression Team member, and Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC) member. In addition to an exemplary career in law enforcement, Officer DeLaFuente was a U.S. Army veteran. Reflecting on the loss of Officer DeLaFuente, Chief Andy Hall said, “Angel is a prince among men. He started his life as a soldier serving his country and later served his community, he’s always felt that need to serve his fellow mankind.”
At the time Officer DeLaFuente contracted COVID-19, several Fresno Police Officers tested positive for the virus, including another Southeast patrol officer who worked the same shift as Officer DeLaFuente.
Officer DeLaFuente, age 49, is survived by his wife and four children.