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Deputy Sheriff Juan Leo Ortiz | San Miguel County Sheriff's Department, New Mexico San Miguel County Sheriff's Department, New Mexico

Deputy Sheriff

Juan Leo Ortiz

San Miguel County Sheriff's Department, New Mexico

End of Watch: Sunday, September 17, 1978

Bio & Incident Details

Age: Not available

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Rifle; .300 caliber

Offender: Never apprehended

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Deputy Ortiz was shot and killed in retaliation for killing a suspect who pointed a gun at him three weeks earlier. Deputy Ortiz was on patrol in the Santa Fe National Forest when he encountered several suspects who were harassing campers. When one of the men pointed a rifle at him he opened fire, killing the suspect. Three weeks later Deputy Ortiz was working on his ranch when he was gunned down by a man with a rifle 200 yards away. The suspect fled and was never identified.
Deputy Ortiz was due to resign from the department the following day.

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Most Recent Reflection

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 34th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. You will always be remembered and revered.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05
September 17, 2012


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