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Sergeant Ira Gabor Essoe, Sr. | Orange County Sheriff's Department, California Orange County Sheriff's Department, California


Ira Gabor Essoe, Sr.

Orange County Sheriff's Department, California

End of Watch: Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 69

Tour: 10 years

Badge # 98

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 11/6/1980

Weapon: Handgun; .45 caliber

Offender: Sentenced to 18 years

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Sergeant Ira Essoe succumbed to complications of gunshot wounds sustained on November 6th, 1980.

He and his partner, who were both in plainclothes, had gone to the Mall of Orange to collect bail on a warrant. When they arrived at the location, they observed three men breaking into a car in the mall's parking lot.

Sergeant Essoe approached one side of the car as his partner approached the other. One of the subjects was able to disarm Sergeant Essoe's partner at gunpoint, and ordered him to lay on the ground. Sergeant Essoe drew his revolver and engaged the suspect who was giving commands to his partner while the other two men fled. Sergeant Essoe's partner was able to seek cover during the shootout.

One of the men who was fleeing on foot opened fire on Sergeant Essoe, then returned to the vehicle and shot Sergeant Essoe from behind.

Sergeant Essoe remained in poor health and passed away from direct complications of the wounds on February 4th, 2010.

Two of the subjects were apprehended following a high speed pursuit a short time later. The third was later linked to the crime while in federal prison for bank robbery. All three were sentenced to eight to 18 years in prison for the original shooting and attempted murder. In 2010 the Orange County District Attorney charged the men with murder. In response to an appeal of a preliminary ruling, the California Court of Appeals ruled that based on the laws governing the crime in 1980, the suspects could not be charged for his murder. They were released from custody after one year.

Sergeant Essoe had served with the Orange County Sheriff's Department for 10 years. He is survived by his wife and three children.

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Today is the anniversary of your shooting, and I have been thinking about you. I can't imagine what our lives would have been like if you had not been shot, but I know what you gave me before that day. I cherish every memory, and every conversation, even after you passed. I remember sharing a shot of scotch with you when ever we visited and how you couldn't in the years before you passed. I miss our conversations and the old westerns we used to watch. You made me the man I am today, and I thank the lord we got those nearly 30 years! Always in my thoughts Dad. I raise my glass to you! Miss you!

Ira Essoe
November 6, 2017


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