Deputy Sheriff George R. Barthel

Deputy Sheriff George R. Barthel

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, April 19, 1979

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George R. Barthel

Deputy Sheriff George Barthel was shot while investigating a group of suspicious males. He and his partner were assigned to the Sheriff's Special Enforcement Bureau and were assigned to patrol the Nickerson Housing Project.

They were walking up to a group of males in front of 1449 E 115th Street when one of the subjects threw two vials of PCP into the bushes. As Deputy Barthel's partner went to pick up the drugs, the shooter opened fire from across the street with a rifle, striking both Deputy Barthel and his partner in the face and the torso. Both deputies were wearing bulletproof vests, but the bullets entered through the gaps in the sides.

Two suspects, 21 and 24, were arrested and charged with murder. On November 20. 1980, the 24-year-old suspect was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole. The other suspect was acquitted. As of December 2, 2022, the killer was in the California State Prison in Los Angeles County.

Deputy Barthel's partner used his own body to shield Deputy Barthel as they retreated to their patrol car, taking fire from the suspects. Both deputies were transported to a local hospital, where Deputy Barthel died later that day.

Deputy Barthel was a United States Army Vietnam War veteran and had served with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for 10 years. He was survived by his wife, son, daughter, parents, brother, and two sisters.


  • Age 32
  • Tour 10 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Sentenced to life

narcotics, suspicious person

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RIP Sir. Always remembered.

Deputy Sheriff Los Angeles
County Sheriff

April 19, 2023

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