Officer Fred B. Veretto joined the Oakland Police Department in 1941. Called to active military service in 1943, he served in the Navy until he was discharged in January 1943, and then he returned to the department.
A year after his return, he was dispatched with officers John Mullen, Samuel Madsen and Ivan Denmun, to a family disturbance where there was a man brandishing a gun.
Officers Veretto and Mullen stood near the front door and knocked at the residence. All the officers could hear a man muttering in Spanish on the other side of the door. Without warning, the door was flung open and the man fired twice with his handgun. Veretto and Mullen each fired two times striking the man. Veretto fell through the doorway calling to the others that he had been shot. Mullen grabbed the suspect as he continued to shoot. A round passed through his clothing and the pants of Denmun. The suspect died of wounds sustained in the altercation. In all, 12 shots were exchanged between the suspect and the officers.
Veretto was transported to Merritt Hospital. He had suffered a gunshot wound to the groin that severed an artery, causing massive blood loss. Doctors were able to stabilize his condition, and with transfusions of blood donated by his fellow officers, he began to show improvement over the following days. Then, Veretto suffered a setback, and his condition took a turn for the worse. Complications developed in his kidneys as a result of the shock of the wound. He died of these complications on January 7.
Veretto, 32, was survived by his mother, brother (Inspector Joseph Veretto), and two sisters.