Agent Thomas E. Riggs

Agent Thomas E. Riggs

San Diego Police Department, California

End of Watch Sunday, March 31, 1985

Thomas E. Riggs

Agent Thomas Riggs was shot and killed by a combative suspect who had gained control of another officer's handgun. The suspect shot and paralyzed the other officer before shooting Agent Riggs in the stomach, severing an artery.

The suspect then shot a civilian ride along before stealing one of the police cars and running over the second officer. The suspect was eventually caught but acquitted of all major charges and has since been arrested several times for violent crimes. In July 2002 the suspect committed suicide.

Agent Riggs had served with the agency for five years. He was survived by his wife and son.


  • Age 27
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Acquitted of all major charges

Most Recent Reflection

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I was on Tom's squad as a young officer, I had just graduated the academy in November of 1984 and was assigned to Southeast after my field training. I was on duty the night he died. That day, from our briefing to the time we all gathered at the substation, and dealing with the press, and taking time off from work as we mourned his death to the funeral where it was blur! I think of him and what a great police officer and man he was. I think about how he was taken too soon. God bless him always! I too was a police explorer with SDPD and became the captain of the post, then an officer with SD before moving onto CPD and eventually left law enforcement & got into defense contracting, but my time in Southeast is forever imprinted in my soul!

Stephanie Cash, SDPD officer 1984/85
SDPD squad member

February 2, 2018

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