Deputy Sheriff Sylvester Castillo Villa

Deputy Sheriff Sylvester Castillo Villa

Yuma County Sheriff's Department, Arizona

End of Watch Sunday, January 25, 1948

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Sylvester Castillo Villa

Deputy 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 and Deputy Villa began to backtrack. 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. He was transported to Yuma Hospital where he died a short time later.

The man fled the scene but was later apprehended. He was sentenced to 75 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 agency 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 75 years

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I never knew you but I am proud to call you my great grandfather.

Gabriella I. Moran
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May 14, 2016

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