Deputy Sheriff Sylvester Castillo Villa

Deputy Sheriff Sylvester Castillo Villa

Yuma County Sheriff's Office, Arizona

End of Watch Sunday, January 25, 1948

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Sylvester Castillo Villa

Deputy Sheriff Sylvester Villa was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a burglary suspect.

He and two other deputies had tracked the suspect to a river, where they lost the track. The other two deputies returned to the patrol car while Deputy Villa began to backtrack the route. He located a man sleeping in the brush and nudged him with his foot. The man suddenly turned over and shot Deputy Villa in the groin. Deputy VIlla was transported to Yuma Hospital where he died a short time later.

The man, 27, fled the scene but was later apprehended. He was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 70 years in prison.

An annual shooting competition, the Sylvester Villa Match, is held in Yuma in Deputy Villa's honor.

Deputy Villa had served with the Yuma County Sheriff's Office for 13 years. He was survived by his wife and six children.


  • Age 62
  • Tour 13 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, January 24, 1948
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 70 years


Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff Villa,
On today, the 75th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Yuma County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

January 25, 2023

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