On February 4, 2010, Sergeant Ira Essoe succumbed to complications of gunshot wounds sustained on November 6, 1980.
He and his partner, who were both in plain clothes, had gone to the Mall of Orange to collect bail on a warrant. When they arrived at the location, they observed three men breaking into a car in the mall’s parking lot.
Sergeant Essoe approached one side of the car as his partner approached the other. One of the subjects was able to disarm Sergeant Essoe’s partner at gunpoint, and ordered him to lay on the ground. As Sergeant Essoe attempted to draw his weapon, all three suspects opened fire on him, striking him twice.
One of the men then stole Sergeant Essoe’s gun and keys as they fled. Two of them were apprehended following a high speed pursuit a short time later. The third was later linked to the crime while in federal prison for bank robbery. All three were sentenced to eight to 18 years in prison for attempted murder.
Sergeant Essoe remained in poor health and passed away from direct complications of the wounds on February 4, 2010.
Sergeant Essoe is survived by his wife and three children.