Deputy Sheriff James Warren Lehmann, Jr.

Deputy Sheriff James Warren Lehmann, Jr.

Riverside County Sheriff's Department, California

End of Watch Sunday, January 5, 1997

James Warren Lehmann, Jr.

Deputies James Lehmann and Michael Haugen were shot and killed at approximately 0300 hours as they answered a domestic violence call on the Cabazon Indian Reservation.

They were ambushed by a sniper who shot them with an M-1 rifle as they exited their vehicles. Both deputies where wearing vests. One deputy was shot in the head and the other was shot in the side when the bullet penetrated his vest. Neither deputy was able to radio in the incident. A sergeant who responded to the scene after they failed to make radio contact was shot at as he attempted to check on the deputies when he saw them laying on the ground. The suspect was apprehended later in the morning during a SWAT operation. The man was convicted of both murders and sentenced to death, however, he committed suicide while on death row on December 9, 2013.

Deputy Lehmann is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; M-1
  • Offender Sentenced to death

Most Recent Reflection

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I responded to the officer down call from Moreno Valley Station with a partner and was one of the first to arrive. It was a long hard night on that January 5th in 1997. The details went out and a description was given. A perimeter was set. Cold rains, hard winds and showers of snow blew through the valley. There was no air support due to the storm. Street lights and porch lights were being broken all over to keep any light from casting a shadow on anyone. The thing that kept us going was knowing that we were there for you. We were not leaving until the job was done. The attacker came out from hiding in the wee hours of the morning like a frightened coward. My partner and I saw your attacker and was able to take him into custody. After 20 years I remember it like yesterday. You won't be forgotten! Thank you for every minute of your service! Rest in Peace! Prayers to all of your friends and family.

Brian Mehlbrech
Investigator, Retired 2014
Riverside County Sheriff's Office

August 8, 2018

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