Police Officer Richard Thomas Steed

Police Officer Richard Thomas Steed

San Clemente Police Department, California

End of Watch Wednesday, November 29, 1978

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Richard Thomas Steed

Officer Richard Steed was shot and killed while responding to what was believed to be a medical assistance call on El Camino Real in which a person claimed to have slashed his wrists. When he arrived at the scene, he was shot by the person who had requested the assistance.

The killer, 23, fled the scene but was arrested approximately eight hours later in a nearby parking lot and is incarcerated at a mental hospital, deemed incompetent to stand trial. He was declared too dangerous to release August 10, 1988.

Officer Steed was a United States Marine Corps veteran and had served with the San Clemente Police Department for less than two years. He is survived by his wife.

A park in San Clemente has been named for Officer Steed. In 2011, a stretch of I-5 that runs through San Clemente was designated as the Officer Richard T. Steed Memorial Highway. Officer Steed is the only member of the San Clemente Police Department to have been killed in the line of duty. Policing services in San Clemente is now provided by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge 999
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Committed

ambush, medical call

Most Recent Reflection

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Kathy Steed
Surviving spouse

November 29, 2021

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