On Saturday, January 14, 1978, Officer Jay Warren Jackson #154 was working as a patrol officer for the West Covina Police Department. At approximately 0232 hours, another patrol officer for the West Covina Police Department attempted to conduct a vehicle stop at Orange Avenue and Garvey Avenue South. The driver of the vehicle failed to yield and a pursuit ensued. Officer Jackson joined the pursuit as it traveled on the eastbound I10 freeway. The suspect exited at Holt Avenue and spun out just north of Garvey Avenue South. The suspect exited his vehicle and hid behind it. The suspect opened fire on responding officers, including Officer Jackson as he approached. Officer Jackson was shot and fatally wounded by the suspect. The suspect was killed by return fire from officers at the scene. It was later learned that the suspect fled from a psychiatric care facility and made suicidal threats to his family and friends.
Officer Jay Jackson was raised in West Covina and attended West Covina schools. He served in the United States Army for three years, receiving an honorable discharge in 1971 as a sergeant (E-5). Officer Jackson previously served four years as a police officer with the City of Azusa, working in the patrol division as a training officer.
Officer Jackson was 29 years old. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered at Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County.