Officer John Anthony Valenzuela

Officer John Anthony Valenzuela

South Tucson Police Department, Arizona

End of Watch Monday, May 17, 1993

John Anthony Valenzuela

Officer John Valenzuela was shot and killed when he and other officers went to a home near the intersection West 38th Street & South 9th Avenue to serve a warrant as part of a sex offense investigation involving a female elementary school student.

Officer Valenzuela was a school resource officer and had been informed of the offense by the victim earlier in the day. The officers made contact with the suspect in the home's garage and were immediately engaged in a shootout. The offender retreated inside the home when his rifle was damaged by gunfire. He obtained a second rifle and then shot Officer Valenzuela, who was concealed behind a bush.

The other officers returned fire, killing the subject.

Officer Valenzuela had served with the South Tucson Police Department for two years. He was survived by his fiancée and parents.


  • Age 27
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge 225

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Shot and killed

sex offense, warrant

Most Recent Reflection

View all 18 Reflections

This is the 24th year you have been gone my brother! I remember that day above all other days in my career! I was a Pima County Deputy and worked and had work South Tucson Police, at the time was a the arson investigator for South Tucson Police. I was at Sahuarita High School on a public assist. The call for the 10-99/999 on the radio I had a 1988 Chev Caprise Patrol car. Took off code 3 on I-19 to the scene. Was the 4th other agency unit on scene. Took the rear of the scene and stood by for PCSD Homicide to arrive. I was relieved and went to STPD station to start handling calls. I called our Station and got the SO to start patrol and dispatch for the community. There were total of 18 officers then and of us were close! My wife was a dispatcher for STPD. The hardest call I ever made was to Johanna to tell her John had been killed! I know that thru the rest of my career I had John on my calls protecting me! I could feel a cool breeze by my right ear and in 100° weather that was something and I never got hurt! I know John is still with even as I have retired! God bless you and those of your family who are with you now! Love you Brother!

Deputy Dennis Rankin
Pima County Sheriff's Department

May 10, 2017

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