Deputy Sheriff John Robert Saxerud

Deputy Sheriff John Robert Saxerud

Island County Sheriff's Office, Washington

End of Watch Saturday, November 14, 1987

John Robert Saxerud

Deputy Saxerud and Deputy William Heffernan were shot and killed by a man they had arrested for drunk driving. As they took the man into the processing area of the jail the man pulled out a concealed handgun and shot them both, killing them almost instantly.

The suspect was convicted of two counts of aggravated first degree murder and sentenced to two life terms.

Deputy Saxerud was survived by his wife and two daughters.


  • Age 31
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

View all 17 Reflections

I remember the day clearly. And I feel like I came close to repeating it this week with the ambush death of a deputy with Douglas County, CO. Deputy Zackari Parrish was just about the same age as John Saxerud and has two daughters about the same age John's were when he was killed. One of my cousins is a former dispatcher married to a Douglas County deputy who was not on duty at the time the incident last Sunday. It was a bad day, Nov 14, 1987, for Island County, WA and a bad day in Colorado last week.

Nina Wood
Oak Harbor Police Dispatch in those days.

January 6, 2018

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