Agent Thomas E. Riggs

Agent Thomas E. Riggs

San Diego Police Department, California

End of Watch Sunday, March 31, 1985

Thomas E. Riggs

Agent Thomas Riggs was shot and killed by a combative suspect who had gained control of another officer's handgun. The suspect shot and paralyzed the other officer before shooting Agent Riggs in the stomach, severing an artery.

The suspect then shot a civilian ride along before stealing one of the police cars and running over the second officer. The suspect was eventually caught but acquitted of all major charges and has since been arrested several times for violent crimes. In July 2002 the suspect committed suicide.

Agent Riggs had served with the agency for five years. He was survived by his wife and son.


  • Age 27
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Acquitted of all major charges

Most Recent Reflection

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I somehow had the honor of meeting Agent Riggs very briefly. I posted a special tribute on my face book page tonight, a bit early, in honor of Agent Riggs. I was in the SDPD police explorers (made Captain), but left in about 1976 or 77, so I don't remember how I met Agent Riggs. I do remember other officers I knew who did know Agent Riggs, and I know he was a good man and police officer.
I have never forgotten Agent Riggs.

To Agent Riggs:

I'm glad I had the honor of meeting you, although briefly. We still connected, I'm sure. I'm sorry your life was cut short, and I will always honor you.

Thank your for your service and sacrifice, Sir.
You are not forgotten.

Veronica Forston (Morgan)
SDPD Explorers Post 250, former Captain

March 8, 2017

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