Deputy Sheriff David Ralph Sanchez

Deputy Sheriff David Ralph Sanchez

Lake County Sheriff's Office, Oregon

End of Watch Saturday, December 1, 1979

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David Ralph Sanchez

Deputy Sheriff David Sanchez died after being shot 17 times, 10 in the back as he lay dying, by a man he arrested during a disturbance at a high school dance in Paisley. His body was located on the highway south of town.

After a plea-bargain arrangement, the suspect was convicted of second degree manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was paroled after serving less than five years.

Deputy Sanchez had served with the Lake County Sheriff's Office for six months and had previously served with the Fresno County, California, Sheriff's Office for 10 years. He was survived by his wife, daughter, and son.


  • Age 31
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 10 years


Most Recent Reflection

View all 11 Reflections

Mr. Sanchez, You commanded so much respect from everyone who knew you. As a teenager, you taught us to behave with your gentle kindness - lesson learned after throwing rotten tomatoes on Halloween! While you were a giant of man, you had such a loving heart - you genuinely cared about people. Your murder had a profound impact on the kids at the dance that you were protecting.

Your family became part of our family as we tried to be there for them, loving them and comforting when they were scared. I wish you hadn't passed to make this happen - I'm sure we would have been close no matter what. I hope you know you created two wonderful children with the amazing woman who was your wife.

Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice.

Kelly Melton
Friend of family

December 1, 2017

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