Sergeant Richard Earl Deffner

Sergeant Richard Earl Deffner

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, January 21, 1988

Richard Earl Deffner

Sergeant Richard Deffner was shot and killed while conducting a search for an armed robbery suspect at 10333 White Rock Road.

He was commanding a Special Operations Team looking for the suspect who had recently robbed several businesses at gunpoint. After a chase, the suspect fled from the officers as he fired at them. He was later located and another gunfight ensued.

A controlled search area was created and the Special Operations Team began searching for him. Thinking that the suspect may have gone up to a roof, which would give him a vantage point to fire at officers, Sergeant Deffner climbed onto a roof to check it. After hearing noises, he peered over the side and was shot in the face by the suspect who was on the ground, hiding in an area used as a dog run.

The subject then fled into a nearby apartment where he briefly held two women and an infant hostage. The man was fatally shot by officers when he came out of the apartment and opened fire.

Sergeant Deffner was posthumously awarded the Medal of Valor for his actions. He is survived by his wife, son, stepson, and parents.


  • Age 36
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge S-123

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed

robbery, swat

Most Recent Reflection

View all 22 Reflections

Thank you so much for everything that you did that day. You are not forgotten. I was that infant who was held captive by that sick person. I can not thank you enough.

Roseville, CA

September 18, 2018

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.