Officer Johnny Ramirez Martinez

Officer Johnny Ramirez Martinez

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch Friday, October 2, 1981

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Johnny Ramirez Martinez

Officer Johnny Martinez was shot and killed when he and his partner were ambushed on I-10.

Two officers were clearing debris from the San Bernardino Freeway when a vehicle pulled along side and the two occupants opened fire. The occupants had just committed an armed robbery and believed there was a road block setup to capture them.

Officer Martinez's partner had slowed traffic using his motorcycle so Officer Martinez could remove the debris. The suspects mistook this attempt to slow them down as an attempt to stop them as a result of the robbery. The suspects pulled alongside the partner and opened fire, striking him once in the neck and once in the back, but the round was stopped by his vest. The force of the round knocked the officer off of his motorcycle.

Officer Martinez did not see the shooting and thought that his partner had crashed. As Officer Martinez returned to his motorcycle to contact dispatch, the suspect vehicle pulled alongside and shot him in the back, killing him.

On January 12, 1982, one of the suspects was located in Salt Lake City, Utah, and was killed in a shootout with officers. Sergeant Ronald Heaps, of the Salt Lake City Police Department, was also killed during this shootout. Another suspect was apprehended at a different time and sentenced to death.

Officer Martinez was a United States Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran. He had served with the California Highway Patrol for 4 years. Officer Martinez is survived by his wife.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge 8813
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, October 1, 1981
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender One shot and killed, One guilty of murde

ambushed, directing traffic

Most Recent Reflection

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Thanks for your sacrifice and outstanding service to the Marines and CHP. My brother (Jon) was deeply affected by your passing. I met a lot of you guys at the CHP graduation. I know my brother respected you like no other and loved working in East L.A. I hope your wife and children are doing well.

James Lopey, Assistant Sheriff (Ret)
Washoe County Sheriff's Office (Reno, Nevada)
Nevada DPS

October 2, 2023

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