Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 4 years
Badge # 8813
Incident Date: 10/1/1981
Weapon: Gun; Unknown type
Offender: One later shot and killed
Officer Johnny Martinez was shot and killed when he and his partner were ambushed on I-10.
The 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 had served with the California Highway Patrol for 4 years. He is survived by his wife.
Related Line of Duty Deaths
Sergeant Ronald L. Heaps