Login | About Us | Contact Us | Search Connect With ODMP Facebook Twitter
ODMP Remembers...

Officer Walter C. Frago | California Highway Patrol, California California Highway Patrol, California

Officer

Walter C. Frago

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch: Monday, April 6, 1970

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 23

Tour: 2 years

Badge # 6520

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 4/6/1970

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Suspect: Committed suicide

· Leave a Reflection
· Add to My Heroes
· Update this memorial

Share this memorial:
Email to a Friend

California Highway Patrol Officers James Pence, Jr., Walter Frago, Roger Gore, and George Alleyn were shot and killed by two heavily armed assailants.

Earlier in the day the killers were in the northern Los Angeles County foothills target practicing with an assortment of weapons, which included handguns, rifles, and shotguns. They were also testing the range of their walkie-talkie. Their plan was to use their equipment to commit armed robberies in order to finance a scheme to purchase nursing homes.

After dropping the passenger off in the hills, the driver drove a distance to test the walkie-talkie. During this time, the driver made an unsafe U-turn on the freeway, cutting off another motorist. A verbal exchange occurred between the two drivers, and the driver threatened the motorist with a handgun.

The motorist was allowed to leave after he convinced the gunman the California Highway Patrol was in the area. The motorist then made a call to the California Highway Patrol, Newhall Station.

The CHP officers in the Newhall area were notified by radio that a brandishing with a handgun incident had occurred on US 99 in the Gorman area, just north of their positions. Officers Roger Gore and Walter Frago told dispatch they were staked out in the area of Castaic Junction and US 99. A short time later, they spotted the vehicle, an orange color Pontiac, traveling south on the freeway. The officers notified dispatch that they were following the vehicle as it continued south. The officers were in communication with the backup vehicle containing, Officers James Pence and George Alleyn. The officers intended to make a vehicle stop when the gunman reached the area of Valencia Boulevard, where Officers Pence and Alleyn were positioned.

The vehicle instead exited the off ramp at Henry Mayo Drive, just north of Valencia. The Pontiac pulled into the parking lot of a Standard Station and J's Coffee Shop, just off of the exit, and stopped in the driveway of the service station.

After activating their red light, and drawing their weapons, Officer Gore ordered the occupants to exit the car with their hands up. They failed to comply and the order was given again. Finally, the driver got out of the Pontiac and was told to lean on the Pontiac's left fender in order to submit to a search. The passenger still did not comply with the exit order and Officer Frago proceeded to walk up to the right side of the Pontiac in order to remove the passenger. The passenger suddenly opened his door and shot Officer Frago twice with a handgun. Officer Frago collapsed and died immediately. The passenger then fired at Officer Gore, who returned fire. The driver who had a handgun concealed in his waistband shot Officer Gore; he was hit twice in the chest and died.

In the next instant, Officers Pence and Alleyn arrived on the scene and were fired upon. Officer Pence put out a shots fired, officers needs assistance call. In the ensuing gun battle, both officers were shot and killed.

The gunmen were able to make their escape after firing at the arrival of a third and fourth CHP unit. They drove into a dead end road shortly thereafter, and abandoned their vehicle.

Los Angeles County Deputies captured the driver after he stole a camper.

The passenger entered a home in the city of Newhall, and took the residents hostage. He later committed suicide when the home was tear gassed and stormed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The driver received the death penalty upon conviction of four counts of murder. The death sentenced was modified to life in prison after the California Supreme Court ruled the death penalty was unconstitutional.

On Sunday, August 16, 2009, the killer was found dead in his cell at the Kern Valley State Prison of an apparent suicide.

Leave a Reflection · Update Memorial

Related Line of Duty Deaths

Officer James E. Pence, Jr.
California Highway Patrol, California
End of Watch: Monday, April 6, 1970
Cause: Gunfire

Officer Roger D. Gore
California Highway Patrol, California
End of Watch: Monday, April 6, 1970
Cause: Gunfire

Officer George M. Alleyn
California Highway Patrol, California
End of Watch: Monday, April 6, 1970
Cause: Gunfire

View all 43 Reflections

Most Recent Reflection

Officer Frago,
I remember this as it was yesterday, not 43 years ago today! I was to become a LA Deputy Sheriff in 1970, and assigned to the "Wayside Honor Rancho". I drove by J's Coffee Shop 10 times a week and every time felt such remorse and sorrow for what happened to you four Officers.
It's rare when I see a "Chippy", that I don't again think of all of you.
Rest in peace Brothers, I hope we will meet on the other side.

Sergeant - Retired L. Berry
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept.
April 6, 2013

 

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

(will show below Reflection)
(will show below Reflection)
(e-mail remains private)
Remember my rank, agency and email address
I have read and agree to the Reflections Terms of Use
(revised 5/31/2012)
 
All 2014 Deaths