Officer Loren D. Scruggs

Officer Loren D. Scruggs

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch Friday, April 23, 1971

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Loren D. Scruggs

Officer Loren Scruggs was shot and killed from ambush while conducting a traffic stop.

He had stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation on Betteravia Road, one mile east of Highway 101, near Santa Maria. As he talked to the driver another man parked across the street and approached him. The man asked Officer Scruggs for directions and then suddenly pulled out a .22 caliber handgun and shot him. The suspect fled the scene, but was later found after committing suicide.

Officer Scruggs was a U.S. Air Force veteran and had served with the California Highway Patrol for nine years. He was survived by his wife and four children.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge 3186
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .22 caliber
  • Offender Committed suicide

ambush, traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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Loren stopped me twice for speeding I'm ashamed to say. For some reason he took me under his tutelage and had me ride with him several times showing me his side. This friendship prompted me into applying with the CHP and while working as a Reserve with Santa Maria Police Dept. I received an academy date shortly after Loren was shot. Ended up choosing the SMPD and never disappointed. Loren was a hell of an inspiration.

Steven Burginger, Lieutenant
Santa Maria Police Department

April 23, 2020

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