Deputy Sheriff Juan Leo Ortiz

Deputy Sheriff Juan Leo Ortiz

San Miguel County Sheriff's Department, New Mexico

End of Watch Sunday, September 17, 1978

Juan Leo Ortiz

Deputy Ortiz was shot and killed in retaliation for killing a suspect who pointed a gun at him three weeks earlier. Deputy Ortiz was on patrol in the Santa Fe National Forest when he encountered several suspects who were harassing campers. When one of the men pointed a rifle at him he opened fire, killing the suspect. Three weeks later Deputy Ortiz was working on his ranch when he was gunned down by a man with a rifle 200 yards away. The suspect fled and was never identified.
Deputy Ortiz was due to resign from the department the following day.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; .300 caliber
  • Offender Never apprehended

Most Recent Reflection

View all 5 Reflections

Officer had served 5 months as lawman and was just short of his 53rd birthday when he was killed

t. fazzini

October 6, 2017

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