On December 12, 1971, an armed robbery occurred at a market in Lincoln, California. As the suspects fled the scene in a vehicle, a witness pointed them out to the first responding officer. That officer gave chase in his personal vehicle until the suspects failed to negotiate a turn, and crashed. They exited the vehicle and immediately shot the officer with a shotgun. The officer ran to a local farmhouse where he called for help.
Officer Paul Schellbach responded and upon arrival was shot in the chest with a semi-automatic M-16. Tragically, the injuries were extensive and Officer Schellbach did not survive. The suspects fled the scene in the first officer’s vehicle.
Within several days all three suspects were arrested. Two of them were convicted and sentenced to life in prison and the third suspect committed suicide in jail during the trial.
Officer Schellbach, age 31, was survived by his wife Eilene, his son Les Jr., and his daughter Sharin.