Correctional Officer Jesus "Jesse" Sanchez

Correctional Officer Jesus "Jesse" Sanchez

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California

End of Watch Friday, October 6, 1972

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Jesus "Jesse" Sanchez

Correctional Officer Jesse Sanchez was shot and killed and another officer was shot and wounded from ambush by two men who were attempting to free a prisoner. He and another officer had just left the California Institution for Men at Chino with the prisoner when two cars pulled alongside their prison van and forced them off the road on Edison Avenue near Euclid Avenue. An occupant from each car, with guns drawn, handcuffed Officer Sanchez and the other officer and then shot them both. Officer Sanchez was killed and the other officer was wounded. The other officer faked being dead as the ambushers drove away with their prisoner. Later the two cars were found abandoned in a parking lot north of Riverside Drive.

The liberated prisoner, 35, was being transported to a court hearing in San Bernardino for escape. He had been sentenced to prison for attempted robbery in January of 1969. He and another inmate escaped in November of 1970, kidnapped a man and a girl, 16, and forced them to drive them in their car to Arizona. They were both captured in Arizona three days latter after a crash with another car during a high speed chase with a state trooper near Sun City. The male hostage had been freed earlier. The girl and an elderly couple in the other car were hospitalized in fair condition. The two inmates were hospitalized in serious condition. They were later returned to California and charged with kidnapping and escape. He had been convicted of kidnapping a few weeks before the ambush.

Two weeks later a man, 30, and a girl, 18, surrendered to FBI agents at Menlo Park. They said they were in one of the two cars but never got out. Both were charged with murder and freeing of a prisoner by violent means. They provided the names of the killers; a man, 23, and a woman, 44. On December 11, 1972, the woman they named and the liberated prisoner were captured on The San Francisco Bay Bridge. Police found a sawed-off shotgun, two loaded pistols, two grenades, and a M-1 Rifle in their car. Both were charged with the murder of Officer Sanchez and attempted murder of the other officer. On December 18, 1972, the fourth suspect was apprehended in Palo Alto. All five were members of the Verceremos Revolutionary Organization, a far-left political group that existed in Palo Alto from 1969 to 1973.

On December 27, 1972, the liberated prisoner was convicted of first degree murder and had a life term added to his other terms. He was convicted in a Federal Court of interstate kidnapping and sentenced to 20 years. He was sent to a federal prison in Florence, Arizona, first where he escaped in October of 1979. He was captured 10 days later in Idaho just south of the Canadian line. He was denied parole on March 22, 1987. On April 22, 1974, the 23-year-old was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life. He was also denied parole in 1987. In the same trial the woman, 44, was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 5 years to life. She was released in 1978. The other two were also convicted of second degree murder and received similar prison terms. They were released in 1980.

Officer Sanchez had served with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for five months and was assigned to the California Institution for Men.

Bio

  • Age 24
  • Tour 5 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Convicted of murder

ambush, escape attempt, transport

Most Recent Reflection

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My brother, you and your family payed the ultimate price and that debt can never be repayed. There is no greater sacrifice and honor for someone that dawns the badge then to give their life in the line of duty, we all know the price of our oath, and still, we voluntarily leave the safety of our loved ones arms every day to toe the line.

Your family's tear watered the ground that was to be the foundation of positive changes for all LEOs to come. Those changes have made it possible for thousands of your brothers and sister to return to their families safer at the end of their shift and for that WE are all forever in their debt. I wish God could grant me the knowledge and wisdom to voice to your family how much I appreciate their strength, their honor and their courage. Unfortunately I know no matter how hard I try I will always fall short because for what they have had to endure there are no words.

When God says, "who shall I send", he will hear our brothers and sisters say in one loud thunderous voice, " here i am send me!"

Honor, Duty, Commitment, Sacrifice

Sworn Brother
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation - CIM

October 9, 2022

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