Officer Charles H. Sorenson

Officer Charles H. Sorenson

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch Friday, March 15, 1963

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Charles H. Sorenson

Officer Charles Sorenson was shot and killed in Rio Vista, California while chasing two suspected armed robbers.

He was on patrol when he spotted the suspect vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. He gave chase to the vehicle until it crashed near the Rio Vista Bridge over the Sacramento River. The suspects fled into an abandoned house and then shot Officer Sorenson in the neck as he came around the corner.

The two suspects then stole Officer Sorenson's cruiser and led other officers on a chase at speeds of 130 mph. The suspects were finally stopped when they rammed a police roadblock six miles east of Fairfield, killing Deputy Sheriff Hale Humphrey of the Solano County Sheriff's Department. Both suspects, ages 18 and 16, were apprehended and charged with the deaths of both officers.

The 16-year-old suspect was turned over to the California Youth Authority. The 18-year-old suspect, who was the driver of the car and the gunman, was convicted of first-degree murder of Officer Sorenson and second-degree murder of Deputy Humphrey and sentenced to death on September 17th, 1963. On August 23rd, 1966, his sentence was commuted to life. He was paroled from Soledad Prison in September 1978.

Officer Sorenson was a United States Navy veteran and had served with the California Highway Patrol for six years. He was survived by his wife, son, and parents.


  • Age 32
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge 2341
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Paroled in 1978

foot pursuit, pursuit, robbery

Most Recent Reflection

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Just drove by Charles H: Sorensons memorial sign on the freeway in Rio Vista and decided to look up his name. Would like to tell you how sorry we are for the loss if your Son, husband, and how sorry we are for the sentence they received, It was senseless and they should have spent their whole lives in prison, so sorry again for your loss


July 7, 2023

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