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.


  • Age 32
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Sentenced to life

narcotics, suspicious person

Most Recent Reflection

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I was assigned to SEB/ESD at the time of Georges passing. I knew his long time partner, Jimmy and through Jimmy met George. They are both gone now but they were incredible cops and well respected by all who knew them. Jimmy had many stories to share of him and George and never really got over losing his partner. May they both rest in peace. Hope they are up there sharing a brew!

Sergeant, Robert S. Murcott, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

January 14, 2022

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