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Officer James Louis Guelff | San Francisco Police Department, California San Francisco Police Department, California


James Louis Guelff

San Francisco Police Department, California

End of Watch: Monday, November 14, 1994

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 40

Tour: 10 years

Badge # 1461

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 11/13/1994

Weapon: Rifle; Semi-automatic

Offender: Shot and killed

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Officer James Guelff succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained the previous day when he was shot by a carjacking suspect, near the intersection of Pine Street and Franklin Street, at approximately 6:00 pm.

The suspect had carjacked a vehicle in Mountain View and had driven to San Francisco, where he pushed the car's owner out of the vehicle.

The suspect then drove to Pine Street where he double parked the vehicle. The man opened fire on Officer Guelff with a semi-automatic rifle as the officer approached the vehicle. Officer Guelff emptied his service weapon at the suspect, and was reloading when he was shot again.

The suspect was wearing a ballistic helmet, a flak jacket, and carrying hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Members of the San Francisco Police Department's SWAT Team shot and killed the man, but not before another officer, a paramedic, and a civilian were wounded by gunfire. Officers found the man was also in possession of a police scanner, gunpowder, fuses, and three vials of pain-killer.

Officer Guelff had served with the San Francisco Police Department for 10 years. He is survived by two children.

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That night, 21 years ago today changed my life. I was in my second month of FTO and on a quit Sunday we heard that a car jacking had occurred on Hwy 237 of VW and another vehicle. Hwy 237 runs into Grant Rd, which we were on at the time of the call. We headed down Grant Rd and observed a Lexus parked next to a Ford Bronco with the doors open stopped at an intersection, which had a green light. We made a U-turn a stayed a safe distance back. We began to get out of our patrol vehicle and the driver in the Lexus got out from the driver seat, pulled an "Uzi" and pulled the trigger. I thought crap we are done after ducking behind the dash expecting rounds to hit the car. I didn't hear anything, looked up and saw him trying to fix the gun.

He then got back in the Lexus and drove off. We pulled up next to the Bronco and asked if they were ok and the two told us the guy pointed a gun at them demanding their truck. The two were hunters coming back from hunting and had two shotguns in the back locked up. They were a bit pissed at us they couldn't shoot the guy. We chased after the Lexus and lost him in Los Altos. The entire County of Police Officers were headed to help with the search. A short time later while writing the report I heard and watched on the news what was occurring and seeing the same guy attempting to do what we interrupted.

I have always had survivors guilt and visit James Guellf inscribed name on the wall in Washington D.C. For the loss of your life numerous agencies have gone to Semi-Automatic rifles in patrol cars, Felons can not have body armor and your actions have saved many lives. You will never be forgotten and always honored.

Police Officer Brent Butler
Los Altos Police Department
November 13, 2015


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