Sac Sheriff

Memorial

This is our tribute to our brother and sister officers who have given the ultimate sacrifice for us and our community. These officers are heroes and will always be remembered here and in our hearts. Click on each officer's name to learn more about their tragic incident and pray that no more officers will give the ultimate sacrifice.

Joseph McKinney - August 15, 1850

Joseph McKinney, the first elected Sheriff in Sacramento County government, was the first peace officer slain in the line of duty in Sacramento County.
Sheriff McKinney, a young man in his early 20's, lived in the gold rush fever days of the early west — an era burdened with a myriad of law and order problems. An epidemic known as "squatters riots" developed throughout the west and Sacramento was no exception. It was during a confrontation to oust land illegally seized by squatters that McKinney became Sacramento County's first law enforcement member to be slain in the line of duty.
Several confrontations took place between Sacramento government officials and squatters with heavy casualties on both sides during the summer of 1850. Following the funeral of the City Assessor who was slain during a battle in a house on Second Street on August 14, 1850, Sheriff McKinney, who narrowly escaped the barrage of bullets the day before, rounded up twenty deputies and rode to Brighton, a settlement several miles outside of Sacramento, where squatters had barricaded themselves in a house. As the Sheriff and his deputies entered the house, the Sheriff ordered the armed squatters to lay down their weapons. A volley of gunfire erupted, killing the young sheriff who stood in the foreground of the confrontation.
Sheriff McKinney was buried in the Sacramento City Cemetery following services with full honors at Sutter's Fort.

Charles J. Ogle - March 12, 1951

Sheriff's Captain Charles Joseph Ogle, a 28-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department, died in Sutter Hospital several hours after his squad car was struck by a taxicab. The accident occurred at the intersection of Airport Road and Grand Avenue at 2:15 a.m. The Highway Patrol reported Captain Ogle and Deputy Gene Roark were parked in the car off the pavement when the taxi struck the unit broadside. Roark was thrown from the car and sustained only cuts and bruises. The driver of the cab suffered only minor injuries.
The driver of the cab said he thought the squad car was going to pull across Airport Road, upon which he was traveling, so he pulled to the right in an effort to go behind it. The taxi showed 65 feet of skid marks. Ogle joined the department under Sheriff Ellis Jones and during the prohibition era he worked under then undersheriff and later Sheriff Don Cox in stamping out liquor operations.
Law enforcement was Captain Ogle's main interest and he was reportedly an excellent detective. At the time he died, he had been serving in the department's "advisement branch" to younger deputies. His main occupation was the inside night captain's desk, but on the midnight shift he often took over squad car duties.
Upon learning of Captain Ogle's death, Judge Coughlin of the Sacramento Superior Court interrupted the scheduled calendar to express his personal sorrow, calling Ogle an "outstanding public servant." Two attorneys in the courtroom, standing before the bench, were called upon to say a few words about the 50-year old veteran and each praised him highly.

William Littlejohn - June 3, 1955

Sheriff's Deputy William Littlejohn and Deputy Stanley Kirkman were en route to an emergency hospital downtown with a man who had slashed his wrists in a suicide attempt when their squad car was struck by a drunk driver. The unit's red lights and siren were engaged when the drunk driver pulled into the path of the emergency vehicle.
Deputy Littlejohn died in the hospital two days later from his injuries. Also injured in the crash were Deputy Kirkman, and the suspect driver, his wife, and their two passengers. All were treated for minor injuries and released. The attempt suicide victim was treated for minor cuts and sent home. Deputy Littlejohn had joined the Sheriff's Department in November, 1952 as a resident deputy in Citrus Heights.

Roger L. Bauman - December 12, 1961

On December 12, 1961, Sheriff's deputies Roger Bauman and Warren Lee responded to a bar on Auburn Boulevard at the closing hour where the proprietress reported a robbery attempt by an intoxicated subject armed with a gun. The officers observed the suspect vehicle a short time later and a pursuit ensued covering several blocks. Twice the suspect attempted to sideswipe the marked unit until the officers were finally able to force the suspect to stop to avoid driving into an open ditch.
Officer Bauman, who was still inside the vehicle, had his service revolver pointed at the suspect while Officer Lee ran to the rear of the squad car and around to the suspect's vehicle. Officer Lee then heard two shots. An exchange of gunfire between the suspect and Officer Bauman left the suspect dead at the scene. Officer Bauman died a short time later in the hospital following surgery.
The Roger Bauman Facility exists today at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center as a tribute to the memory of this fallen officer.

Kenneth B. Royal - June 7, 1968

Kenneth Royal responded to back up a fellow officer who had initiated a felony vehicle stop on two subjects believed to be responsible for the armed robbery of a south area tavern that had been broadcast minutes earlier.
After repeated demands by the officer who had made the stop for the suspects to exit the vehicle, the driver suddenly jumped from the car and fled on foot across a nearby field. Officer Royal arrived at the scene and while his fellow officer covered him, he approached the suspect still inside the car. The man opened the car door and began to exit. Suddenly, he drew a gun from his waistband and fired, striking Officer Royal. Both officers returned fire as the suspect attempted to flee. He collapsed in the field from his injuries.
Officer Royal died at the scene. The suspect who fled earlier was captured by officers a short time later. Officer Royal's assailant recovered from his gunshot wounds and was sentenced to state prison for armed robbery and murder.
The Kenneth B. Royal Firing Range located at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center is named in memory of Officer Royal.

Bruce R. Verhoeven - December 4, 1973

Corporal Bruce Verhoeven was assigned to a special crime suppression detail during the Christmas holiday season of 1973 when he responded to an armed robbery in progress call at a department store in the north area of Sacramento County. Upon arriving at the scene, Corporal Verhoeven assumed a position of cover near an apartment complex where the suspect was hiding. He then cordoned off a small area on one side of the complex to prevent the suspect's escape.
Faced with the situation of a close quartered apartment complex with a multitude of residents and a gathering crowd of on-lookers, Corporal Verhoeven exercised extreme caution rather than risk serious injury to any of the bystanders. He took cover behind a truck and ordered the suspect several times to throw down his weapon and surrender. The suspect suddenly opened fire upon Corporal Verhoeven, mortally wounding him.
A fellow officer at the scene returned fire, killing Corporal Verhoeven's assailant. Corporal Bruce Verhoeven was awarded the Sheriffs Department Medal of Valor, posthumously, for bravery above and beyond the call of duty.
The Bruce Verhoeven Memorial Fund, established on behalf of widows and orphans for Sheriff's Department personnel, was so named in honor of Corporal Verhoeven.

Stewart P. Baird - June 13, 1976

Sheriff's Deputy Stewart Baird, having completed an evening tour of duty at the Medical Detention Facility, proceeded to the place of business where his wife worked to assist her in closing the business and driving her home. As he waited, a man entered the business armed with a sawed off rifle. The subject announced his intent to rob the establishment, ordered the cash register emptied at gunpoint, and demanded that Officer Baird and the other remaining patrons stay seated with their heads down.
Officer Baird confronted the suspect as he attempted to leave the business. During the physical altercation that ensued, Officer Baird drew his revolver and fired two shots as the robber accosted him. Although one of the bullets rendered a subsequent mortal wound to the suspect, it failed to immediately incapacitate him. The suspect attacked Officer Baird viciously, hitting him several times in the head and causing him to fall and strike his head. Officer Baird died within minutes of receiving his injuries.
The robber then fled and on the sidewalk outside he collapsed and subsequently died of his wounds. The suspect was identified as a parolee with a long and violent criminal history including a previous arrest for murder.

Christopher W. Boone - October 25, 1979

Christopher Boone was shot and killed while on a surveillance assignment at the residence of a female who had become the victim of a series of obscene and threatening telephone calls.
On the morning of October 25, 1979, the suspect called the woman while Detective Boone was present in the home. In addition to his threats, he made known his intent to confront her in the home that day. A short time later the suspect arrived at the residence to carry out his threats.
When the suspect entered the home, Detective Boone identified himself and verbally placed the subject under arrest. The man attempted to run from the house, but was caught by Boone at the front door. A violent struggle ensued and Detective Boone was shot and mortally wounded.
Subsequent investigation concluded the suspect had entered the home with the intent to commit sexual assault and as revealed by his prior threats, the woman's life was also in mortal danger.
Detective Boone was awarded the Sheriff's Department Medal of Valor, posthumously, for conspicuous bravery in the line of duty.

Eugene N. Luther - April 25, 1980

Officer Eugene Luther was killed in an abortive robbery attempt while off duty on April 25, 1980.
Officer Luther was leaving a north area restaurant at about 10 p.m. When he reached his car in the parking lot and opened the car door, he was confronted by an armed subject who demanded all of his money. In an effort to protect himself, Officer Luther drew a small caliber handgun; however, the suspect fired first. Officer Luther was able to return fire and it is believed he may have struck the suspect. Officer Luther died at the scene.
Despite an exhaustive investigation, no one has ever been prosecuted for Officer Luther's murder.

David E. Miller - January 2, 1983

Sheriff's Detective David E. Miller was killed in a vehicle accident while off duty on January 2, 1983.
Detective Miller was leaving a north area establishment when his brother-in-law, who had accompanied him, became involved in an altercation with two men in the parking lot. The two subjects got into their car and while leaving the parking lot, the vehicle swerved and struck Miller's brother-in-law. Detective Miller, witnessing the incident, jumped into his pick up truck and chased the two men. He had witnessed the altercation and when the vehicle struck his brother-in-law, perhaps causing serious injury or death, he believed he had been deliberately run over and pursued the potentially fleeing felons.
Detective Miller drove at high rate of speed following the two subjects. As he gained on the vehicle, he attempted to slowly force it over to the side of the road; however, Detective Miller's pick up hit the rear of the other car and the pick up left the road, hitting a power pole. Detective Miller was killed instantly in the crash.
Subsequent investigation determined that Miller's brother-in-law was struck accidentally causing minor injuries.

Richard Deffner - January 21, 1988

The community of Rancho Cordova had experienced several armed robberies in early January 1988. On January 20th, a fast food restaurant on Folsom Boulevard had been robbed by a gun toting suspect. On January 21st, Sergeant Richard Deffner was commanding the Sheriff Department’s Special Enforcement Detail (SED) Gold Team in an all-day search in an attempt to locate the violent robbery suspect. At approximately 2:15 p.m., officers spotted the suspect’s car and gave chase. The suspect crashed his car into a fence and ran from his vehicle while firing shots at the pursuing officers. The suspect disappeared into the neighborhood. An intensive search began by officers, assisted by SSD K-9, and Sheriff’s Department air assets. An eight-block perimeter was established and a house by house search continued until it was terminated because of darkness. Several hours later, another direct confrontation occurred between the suspect and officers when he was seen hiding in a garage. He again fired at officers and fled to a public storage area near a large apartment complex.
A perimeter was quickly established and the Gold Team was again called and assigned the responsibility to search within the area where the suspect was believed to be hiding. Sergeant Deffner realized that if the suspect was on the roof of the apartment complex, he would have a definite advantage over the officers below who were attempting to arrest him. Sergeant Deffner made the decision to search the roof with two of his team members. While on the roof the officers heard noises in a yard below. As Sergeant Deffner peered over the edge of the roof, he was shot in the face by the suspect. Sergeant Deffner died that night making the ultimate and final sacrifice for his community and fellow officers.
Later, as the suspect was trying to escape he was shot and killed by officers. Sergeant Richard Deffner was awarded the Medal of Valor posthumously for conspicuous bravery above and beyond the call of duty. The gymnasium at the Sheriff's Training Academy is dedicated and named for Sergeant Richard E. Deffner, who is buried at Mount Vernon Memorial Park on Greenback Lane.

Sandy Larson - December 8, 1998

Sandy Larson, 48, was a passenger in a sheriff's transportation van that was bringing two inmates from Soledad Prison for court dates in Sacramento. Less than a mile from its destination, the van crashed into the rear of a big rig broken down in a divider between the merging lanes of northbound Interstate 5. Deputy Larson died at the scene.
Larson joined the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department in 1974. She was on the Board of Directors of the Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff's association for over 18 years.
Larson was the first female Sacramento County deputy killed in the line of duty. Sandy is buried at South East Lawn Memorial Park in Elk Grove, California.

Kevin Blount - July 13, 2005

Deputy Kevin Blount was killed on July 13, 2005, while serving as observer on the Sheriff’s Department’s Helicopter, Star 6. Deputy Joe Kievernagel was piloting the craft and Deputy Eric Henrikson was in the aircraft, training to be an observer. The helicopter soon responded to assist with a burglary call at a Folsom business. After clearing the call they flew over the Lake Natoma area to check on the welfare of the hundreds of people who had gathered at the lake to get relief from the intense heat being experienced in the Sacramento area. What happened next will remain in the hearts and minds of the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department’s personnel forever. Star 6 developed catastrophic engine trouble. Witnesses reported that the pilot seemed to be trying in vain to control the craft. The helicopter continued out of control and crashed into the side of a hill. Deputies Joe Kievernagel and Kevin Blount were killed. Deputy Eric Henrikson was critically injured. Deputy Kievernagel and Deputy Blount were highly regarded professionals and truly dedicated to their assignments in Air Operations. They cannot be replaced. They can only be remembered, and remember we will.

Joseph Kievernagel - July 13, 2005

Deputy Joseph M. Kievernagel was killed on July 13, 2005, while piloting the Sheriff’s Department’s Helicopter, Star 6. Deputy Joe Kievernagel, Deputy Kevin Blount and Deputy Eric Henrikson took off from Mather Air Field for routine patrol of Sacramento County. They soon responded to a burglary call at a Folsom business. After they cleared the call they flew over the Lake Natoma area where hundreds of people had gathered to get relief from the intense heat being experienced in the Sacramento area. What happened next will remain in the hearts and minds of the Sheriff’s Department personnel forever. Star 6 developed catastrophic engine trouble. Witnesses reported that it seemed that Deputy Kievernagel tried in vain to control the craft, Deputy Kievernagel desperately tried to land the ship somewhere away from the crowded lake area. Star 6 crashed into a nearby hillside and rolled. Deputies Kievernagel and Blount were killed. Deputy Eric Henrikson was critically injured. Both officers were highly regarded professionals and truly dedicated to their assignments in Air Operations. They cannot be replaced. They can only be remembered and remember we will.

Jeffrey Mitchell - October 27, 2006

In the early morning hours of Friday, October 27, 2006, Deputy Jeffrey Mitchell was patrolling a rural area of Sacramento County near Meiss and Dillard Roads. At about 3:30 a.m., Deputy Mitchell contacted Sheriff’s dispatch from his vehicle computer saying he was going to stop a white Chevrolet van. A few minutes later Dispatch tried to reach Deputy Mitchell to check on his welfare. No response was received from Deputy Mitchell. Other patrol vehicles were immediately dispatched to the location of the vehicle stop made by Deputy Mitchell. When patrol units arrived they found Deputy Mitchell mortally wounded. Deputy Mitchell had been shot in the head with his own weapon. Evidence at the scene indicated that Deputy Mitchell was involved in a violent struggle for his life. Hundreds of law enforcement officers began the search for the killer or killers of Deputy Mitchell.
To this day, we still do not know what happened on that fateful night. The killer of Deputy Mitchell remains at large. Sheriff’s Department detectives are still diligently working this heinous crime that continues to haunt this community. Local media continue to remind the public that this murder took the life of this dedicated officer, husband, father and son. We will not give up on this investigation until we have the person responsible for the fatal wound that took the life of Deputy Jeffrey Mitchell arrested and sentenced for his murder.
Anyone with information regarding the white van or homicide of Deputy Jeff Mitchell, please contact the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

Vu D. Nguyen - December 19, 2007

Shortly after 2:00 pm. On Wednesday, December 19, 2007, Detective Vu Nguyen and his partner were driving through the neighborhood of 37th Street and 41st Avenue in Sacramento when they saw a suspicious subject. Detective Nguyen got out of the vehicle to approach the subject when he started running. Detective Nguyen immediately gave chase on foot as his partner drove their vehicle to intercept the fleeing subject. Detective Nguyen pursued the suspect over numerous backyard fences. Moments later gunshots were fired. Detective Nguyen was discovered critically injured with gunshot wounds. He was transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
An intensive search for the killer was started culminating in the arrest of a 16-year-old suspect in the early morning hours of the following day. Tips from the public and the extensive investigative efforts of numerous law enforcement agencies helped apprehend this vicious killer of a dedicated officer who paid the ultimate price.

Paul W. DeRouen - March 29, 2008

During the early morning hours on January 27, 1986, Deputy Paul DeRouen was dispatched to a location on Waterman Road near Elk Grove Boulevard. It had been reported that a fight was in progress at that location. While Deputy DeRouen was trying to subdue one of the suspects, he and the man struggled and fell on to the roadway. A speeding car struck both men and Deputy Paul DeRouen was thrown 38 feet and received life threatening injuries. He was rushed to the hospital where he underwent surgery and had his left leg amputated along with most of his left hip. He required over 50 pints of blood.
Paul was a fighter. He wanted to remain with his family and continue his law enforcement career. He never gave up. This attitude made it possible for him to leave the hospital after only three months and return home. He continued to have tremendous strength as he fought to resume his life and career. But after continued surgeries and complications he realized his law enforcement career was over. He continued to fight the fight for over 22 years when his devastating injuries finally took his life on March 29, 2008.

Lawrence W. Canfield - November 12, 2008

Shortly after 1:55 p.m., Wednesday, November 12, 2008, the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department’s Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call from an apartment resident stating that an accident had occurred in front of her residence and that a Rancho Cordova motor unit had been involved. When emergency personnel arrived, civilians were rendering life saving efforts on Deputy Lawrence Canfield. He was rushed to a local hospital where he succumbed to his traumatic injuries.
Larry Canfield (age 43), a second generation Deputy Sheriff, was assigned to the motor unit in the contract city of Rancho Cordova in 2004. On this particular day, he had been assigned to traffic enforcement on Coloma Road. Witnesses stated Deputy Canfield had his lights and siren on and was attempting to overtake a speeding vehicle when another vehicle turned in front of him. His motorcycle struck the front passenger side of the vehicle. The motorcycle and rider slid along the roadway and the rider impacted on a nearby traffic sign causing severe injuries. Pieces of the motorcycle were strewn throughout the roadway.
Deputy Larry Canfield, a 13 year veteran of the Sheriff’s Department, is survived by his wife, Michelle, and two young sons. He is also survived by his father, retired Sacramento Sheriff’s Sergeant Robert Canfield.

Danny P. Oliver - October 24, 2014

Shortly after 10:26 a.m., Friday, October 24, 2014, the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department’s Communications Center received radio traffic announcing an officer was down.
Deputy Danny Oliver (age 47), assigned to the Problem Oriented Policing unit for the North Division, along with his partner had stopped in a motel parking lot to investigate a suspicious vehicle. Within minutes, Deputy Oliver was gunned down. Subsequently, the suspects went on a crime spree, carjacking numerous vehicles and shooting others including the shooting death of Placer County Detective Michael Davis Jr.
An intensive regional search, by numerous law enforcement agencies, resulted in the arrest of a couple from Utah who had been traveling through the area. Currently incarcerated in local jails, the suspects await trial for the murders of Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer County Detective Michael Davis Jr.

Robert A. French - August 30, 2017

On August 30, 2017, at approximately 12:00 PM, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert French was shot and killed outside of the Ramada Inn at 2600 Auburn Boulevard.
Earlier in the day, investigators from the multi-jurisdictional Sacramento County Auto Theft Suppression Task Force (SACCATS), were conducting surveillance at the Ramada Inn on a suspected stolen vehicle. After a short time, two females drove the vehicle away from the Ramada Inn. Upon initiating a vehicle stop on the stolen car, the female driver refused to stop and a lengthy pursuit ensued. At the termination of the pursuit, the female occupants were detained and the driver of the vehicle was found to be on searchable probation and was registered to a room at the Ramada Inn.
Investigators subsequently returned to the Ramada Inn to conduct a probation search of the room to which the female driver was registered. The investigators, being unsure if there was still anyone inside the motel room, positioned another uniformed Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy to the rear of the second-floor room in the alleyway below.
Five Investigators approached the room, which was located within an interior hallway, and gave knock and notice, identifying themselves as law enforcement and requesting entry into the room. After receiving no response from anyone inside, investigators attempted to enter the room with a passkey. While trying to open the door, they found it was being forcibly blocked from the inside. While attempting to force entry into the room, gunshots were suddenly fired from the interior of the room through the door and walls, toward the officers in the hallway. Two California Highway Patrol (CHP) Investigators were struck by gunfire and one CHP Investigator and one Sheriff’s Deputy were able to return fire into the motel room. The investigators obtained positions of cover and broadcasted via radio that there were shots fired at their location as they began to evacuate themselves from the hallway.
On August 30, 2017, at approximately 12:00 PM, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert French was patrolling the North Division of Sacramento County. He responded to a radio call for help from other officers doing a probation search of a hotel room at the Ramada Inn on Auburn Boulevard. Prior to his arrival, two California Highway Patrol Officers had already been shot by the suspect.
After shooting the CHP officers, the suspect emerged onto the balcony and began engaging a deputy positioned to the rear of the motel room in gunfire. The deputy exchanged gunfire with the suspect multiple times. Despite efforts to keep the suspect contained, the suspect leaped from the balcony and fled around the building toward the front parking lot.
Upon his arrival, Deputy French retrieved his rifle from the rack of his patrol vehicle, took cover behind his vehicle, and attempted to acquire the suspect. The suspect took notice of Deputy French’s arrival and began to fire his rifle towards Deputy French’s vehicle from across the parking lot. As Deputy French was being fired upon, he continued to attempt to safely engage the suspect in gunfire. While doing so, Deputy French was struck by a round fired from the suspect’s rifle after the bullet passed through a portion of Deputy French’s patrol vehicle. The round entered through the top of Deputy French’s shoulder, missing his body armor and passing through his heart, mortally wounding him.
Despite being mortally wounded, Deputy French remained vigilant. As the suspect began driving toward Deputy French’s position, Deputy French emerged from behind cover and engaged the suspect with gunfire upon having a safe backdrop to do so, in an effort to stop the suspect from fleeing and causing more harm to the community.
The suspect exited the hotel parking lot and led responding deputies on a vehicle pursuit through a nearby business district and residential neighborhoods. The suspect was stopped during this pursuit, was taken into custody, and transported to a local hospital, where he later died.
During the entire gun battle, the suspect fired approximately thirty-four rounds from his AK-47 rifle and approximately nine rounds from his handgun. An AK-47 rifle, two handguns, and a live hand grenade were recovered from the suspect’s vehicle. A subsequent search of the motel room revealed methamphetamine and an additional handgun.

Deputy Mark V. Stasyuk - September 17, 2018

Shortly after 1:30 pm on Monday, September 17, 2018, Deputy Mark Stasyuk (27) and his partner were patrolling in the City of Rancho Cordova, as Rancho Cordova Police Officers, which is a contract city with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. They were dispatched to a reported disturbance at a local business. The initial call for service gave no indication that the suspect was armed or dangerous. Immediately upon their arrival, the suspect began shooting at both deputies, who returned fire. During the gun battle, both deputies were shot by the suspect. Deputy Stasyuk was provided emergency medical treatment on scene and was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The second deputy was treated for a gunshot wound and released from the hospital.
After shooting the deputies, the suspect fled from the initial scene on foot and again, engaged other responding deputies in a gunfight. During the incident, the suspect sustained multiple gunshot wounds. Shortly after fleeing, the suspect was taken into custody and transported to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries.

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