Patrolman Timothy J. Ruopp

Patrolman Timothy J. Ruopp

San Diego Police Department, California

End of Watch Sunday, September 16, 1984

Timothy J. Ruopp

Patrolman Timothy Ruopp and Patrolman Kimberly Tonahill were shot and killed by an armed suspect at the Grape Street Park.

The officers had located a vehicle in the park that contained two underage females and two males. While Patrolman Ruopp was writing a citation to one male for contributing to the delinquency of minors, Patrolman Tonahill was questioning the other male.

It was unknown to Patrolman Tonahill that the male she was questioning had a handgun concealed on his person. This male suddenly produced his handgun when Patrolman Tonahill began to search him. Patrolman Tonahill was shot in the side in an area where her vest did not protect. Immediately after shooting Patrolman Tonahill, the suspect then fired at Patrolman Ruopp. Patrolman Ruopp was struck in the leg and knocked down. The suspect then ran up to Patrolman Ruopp and shot him in the head.

A third officer then arrived at the park as a matter of routine cover. The officer had heard what sounded like gunshots about a block away from the park. The officer located the victim officers' patrol vehicles but did not see the officers. When this officer was investigating the situation, the hidden suspect fired at him. Though the officer was slightly wounded, he succeeded in wounding the suspect. The suspect escaped and made his way deeper into the park as arriving police units surrounded the location. When daylight appeared, the suspect was located and arrested for the murders of Patrolman Tonahill and Patrolman Ruopp.

The suspect was tried and convicted of two counts of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to death. While he was incarcerated at San Quentin's death row, the suspect hung himself several years after the incident.

Patrolman Ruopp had served with the San Diego Police Department for 2.5 years. He was survived by his wife and four children.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 2 years, 6 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Friday, September 14, 1984
  • Weapon Handgun; 9 mm
  • Offender Committed suicide

suspicious vehicle

Most Recent Reflection

View all 25 Reflections

I was only 10 when you passed, but well remember you as a "big teddy bear", and having sleepovers with your daughters (along with my sisters). I've always remembered you, and always will. Every time I hear about another officer leaving us in the line of duty you come front and center in my head. You will always be that "big teddy bear" that we were always so happy to see.

Sara Brown
family friend (when i was a child)

July 30, 2016

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