Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 40 years
Badge # 700
Incident Date: 4/10/1998
Weapon: Officer's handgun
Suspect: Sentenced to death
Chief of Police James Speer was shot and killed after responding to a call at an equipment yard on the outskirts of Calipatria, a tiny town in Imperial County. Chief of Police Speer was found dead along with the mother of the suspect. The suspect had managed to gain control of Chief Speer's weapon and shot him in the chest.
The man fled across the United States - Mexico border where he was apprehended by Mexican authorities. He was returned to the United States where he was convicted of both murders and sentenced to death.
Chief Speer had served as chief of the Calipatria Police Department for 10 years and had previously served with the Brawley Police Department, Calexico Police Department, and Imperial County Sheriff's Department. He had a total of 40 years of law enforcement service. He is survived by his wife, daughter, and grandchildren.