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Sergeant Richard Earl Deffner | Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, California Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, California


Richard Earl Deffner

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, California

End of Watch: Thursday, January 21, 1988

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 36

Tour: Not available

Badge # S-123

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; .45 caliber

Offender: Shot and killed

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Sergeant Richard Deffner was shot and killed while conducting a search for an armed robbery suspect.

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.

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I never met you Sgt Deffner but I know of you. You and my father worked together and were close. So close he named me after you. I was born a year after you passed and it seemed right to my parents to name me after you. My dad regrets that I never got to meet you. You must have been a hell of a man to have made such an impression on him. Those that knew you remember you as a hero and that is how I think of you. Rest in Peace.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Richard Sheehan
United States navy
January 23, 2014


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