Officer Thomas Joel Steiner

Officer Thomas Joel Steiner

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch Wednesday, April 21, 2004

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Thomas Joel Steiner

Officer Thomas Steiner was shot and killed while standing in front of the Pomona Courthouse after testifying in five traffic citation-related cases.

Officer Steiner was shot three times, including once in the head, in an unprovoked attack by a 16-year-old suspect intent on killing a police officer. Officer Steiner was walking across the street in front of the courthouse and paused to stop for traffic. As he stood in the street the suspect drove by and opened fire at Officer Steiner, striking him numerous times.

Officer Steiner was transported to a local hospital where he died five hours later.

The killer was apprehended several hours later by members of the Pomona Police Department. He was charged with murder. He later pled guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He received an additional 25-years-to-life sentence for using a firearm.

It was later discovered that the suspect shot Officer Steiner in an attempt to gain the respect of members of a Los Angeles gang. Fifty-seven members of that gang were arrested after a year-long investigation and charged with conspiracy in relation to the murder of Officer Steiner.

Officer Steiner had served with the California Highway Patrol for 5 years and was assigned to the Santa Fe Springs area.

He is survived by his wife, son, and stepson.

Bio

  • Age 35
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge 15729

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life without parole

juvenile

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A senseless act and a young life taken.

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April 24, 2020

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