Officer James John Rapozo

Officer James John Rapozo

Visalia Police Department, California

End of Watch Friday, January 9, 1998

James John Rapozo

Officer James Rapozo died in surgery at 1750 hours from a gunshot wound he suffered during a SWAT raid. The shootout also left one suspect dead and another man injured.

Officer Rapozo, a member of the SWAT team, was the first Visalia officer to die in the line of fire since 1946. He was wearing a bulletproof vest but the bullet hit his body in the underarm area and entered his chest. He was taken to Kaweah Delta Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The suspect who was killed was wanted in a shooting that left five people injured on Christmas Eve.

Officer Rapozo is survived by his wife, daughter, and son.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge 93

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Killed in shootout

Most Recent Reflection

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I was only 18, working at Baskin Robins the night of this tragedy, just around the corner from the apartment complex where the incident took place. I am 37 now, and I still remember this officer. The death of Officer Rapozo has taught me to respect law enforcement and the bravery and selflessness required for them to do their job. I am grateful for the men and women like Officer Rapozo that serve our communities and provide a better America for us to enjoy. Prayers and reverence to his family and friends.

Steve Schofield
Community Member

October 13, 2017

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