Sergeant Joseph E. Sanchez

Sergeant Joseph E. Sanchez

Baton Rouge Police Department, Louisiana

End of Watch Monday, June 6, 1966

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Joseph E. Sanchez

Sergeant Joseph Sanchez succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained two months earlier while arresting a suspect for robbery.

At 7 pm, Sergeant Sanchez and a Patrolman stopped a vehicle at the intersection of South 13th Street and Spain Street after being alerted to an armed robbery. The subject shot Sergeant Sanchez as he approached the car.

Sergeant Sanchez was transported to Baton Rouge General Hospital with a bullet lodged in his spine. The wound caused a blood clot to develop, which moved to his heart.

The 38-year-old suspect was apprehended in New Orleans two days later. He was convicted of attempted murder and robbery and sentenced to 30 years. After Sergeant Sanchez died, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. In 1972, The United States Supreme Court struck down the death penalty, and his sentence was replaced with life in prison.

Sergeant Sanchez was a WWII and Korean War veteran who had been a prisoner in a German POW camp for 20 months and served with the Baton Rouge Police Department for 14 years. He was survived by his wife, daughter, two brothers, and a sister.

He is buried at Saint Theresa of Avila Catholic Cemetery in Gonzales, Ascension Parish, Louisiana.


  • Age 47
  • Tour 14 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, April 16, 1966
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Life in prison

convicted felon, robbery

Most Recent Reflection

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Sgt. Sanchez
Thanks for our long service in law enforcement, but perhaps just as important were your contributions as a solider to this great nation. You then returned to Korea, after surviving a POW camp in WWII. That says a lot about who you were. Thanks again for your service, and sacrifice and outstanding service to your community and to this great nation.

Jim Lopey, Asst. Sheriff (ret) & NVD
Washoe County Sheriff (Reno, Nv.) & NVDPS

June 6, 2022

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