On the afternoon of April 21, 2018, Officer Gallegos and another officer were attempting to search an inmate in the day room of the Kern Valley State Prison’s Minimum Support Facility when the inmate became combative and attacked the two officers. Up to 11 additional inmates joined the assault and continued to severely beat both officers. Responding officers intervened with physical force and pepper spray. All inmates were eventually subdued. Officer Gallegos was transported to a local hospital suffering from severe injuries to his face, head and neck, including a fractured vertebrae. After an extended hospital stay and rehabilitation, Officer Gallegos returned to his home for additional recuperation. While at his residence, he suffered complications from the injuries and collapsed. Consequently, he was transported via ambulance to the hospital where he succumbed to the trauma and passed away.
Officer Gallegos, age 56, was born in Hanford and was one of 10 siblings. He graduated from Corcoran High School in 1980 and enlisted in the United States Navy a few years later. He served his country for 20 years and earned several accolades, including the National Service Defense Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and the Kuwait Liberation Medal. Officer Gallegos began his career at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano after graduating from the Basic Correctional Officer Academy in 2005.
Officer Gallegos is survived by his wife of 19 years, Irma Gallegos, as well as many family members and friends.