Deputy Sheriff Burton "Burt" Lopez

Deputy Sheriff Burton "Burt" Lopez

Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch Saturday, April 25, 2009

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Burton "Burt" Lopez

Deputy Burt Lopez and Deputy Skip York were shot and killed while attempting to arrest a domestic violence suspect.

The deputies were following up on a domestic assault report they had taken hours earlier, and located the suspect at a gun club in Crestview. The suspect was in the parking lot standing next to his truck. Deputy Lopez and Deputy York approached the suspect, had a brief conversation with him, and then informed him he was going to be arrested. As the deputies moved to handcuff the him, he became uncooperative and began to resist arrest. Deputy York fired his Taser (conducted energy device) and hit the suspect. The suspect dropped to the ground during the five-second jolt of electricity. When the Taser cycle ended, the suspect immediately drew a concealed handgun and opened fire. Deputy Lopez was able to radio for assistance while he and Deputy York engaged the suspect in a gun battle.

During the exchange of gunfire, Deputy Lopez was mortally wounded. The suspect then climbed in his truck to escape. Deputy York pulled the passenger-side door open and jumped inside in an effort to pull the suspect from the vehicle, but was shot and mortally wounded.

The suspect fled the scene and opened fire at deputies from the Walton County Sheriff's Department during a vehicle pursuit. The suspect's vehicle was rammed by deputies, causing it to flip over near the intersection of U.S. Highway 331 and U.S. 90 in DeFuniak Springs. The suspect exited the truck, and opened fire at the deputies, who returned fire, killing the suspect.

Deputies York and Lopez were airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola. They succumbed to their injuries later in the day.

Deputy Lopez had served with the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office for six years. He is survived by his wife and children and is buried in Heritage Gardens Cemetery, Niceville, Okaloosa County, Florida.


  • Age 44
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge 195

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

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I recently learned of Deputy Burt Lopez's passing through a mutual friend of ours from grade school at Fremont elementary in St. Louis, Mo. Burt was a good kid. Shy and quiet. I still have a picture of that little boy from those days and will treasure it even more so now. We will always keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers my friend.

Joseph E Landa
Grade school Classmate
October 07 2019

October 7, 2019

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