Captain Michael Lawrence Sparkes, Sr.

Captain Michael Lawrence Sparkes, Sr.

Los Angeles County Office of Public Safety, California

End of Watch Tuesday, August 10, 2004

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Michael Lawrence Sparkes, Sr.

Captain Michael Sparkes was shot and killed when he identified himself and attempted to take action against two suspects as they attempted to rob him while he was off duty.

Captain Sparkes was taking an early morning bike ride when he was confronted by the two gang members, near Redondo Beach Boulevard and Avalon Boulevard in Rosewood, at approximately 5:35 am. One of the suspects was armed with an AK-47 rifle. Shots were exchanged between Captain Sparkes and the suspects. Despite being mortally wounded, Captain Sparkes was able to give responding officers a description of the two suspects.

Captain Sparkes was transported to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center where he succumbed to his wounds. Coincidentally, Captain Sparkes was assigned to the hospital and was in charge of police and security operations on the hospital campus.

One of the suspects was arrested a short time later after being stopped for a traffic violation by a Los Angeles police officer. The second suspect, who was wounded in the exchange of gunfire, was taken into custody after seeking treatment at a hospital.

The subject who shot Captain Sparkes was sentenced to death. He died in prison on April 22nd, 2019, while awaiting the sentence to be carried out.

Captain Sparkes had served with the Los Angeles County Office of Public Safety for 30 years. He is survived by his wife, young son, and adult stepdaughter.


  • Age 53
  • Tour 30 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; AK-47
  • Offender Died in prison

gang member, off duty, robbery

Most Recent Reflection

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Captain Sparkes,

It's so hard to believe 15 years have gone by since your death. My kids still bring you up. I was a young policeman at the time of your death. I worked for the LA County Police Department. I'm proud to have known you. Today, I work patrol out of the Lost Hills Malibu Sheriff's Station. I have not forgotten the good Captain who lost his life, but you did not give up the fight. Even though you were badly wounded by several shots of AK47 rounds in the legs, you took cover, took concealment and stayed in the game., you stayed tactical. You fired back and you had a tight shot group. You examplify what it takes to survive. You had the will to survive and you fought the fight VALIANTLY! Much love and respect to your wife, son Mike Jr, and family. They will be in my prayers. You will never be forgotten! Rest in peace Cap we got it down here, we will continue to fight the good fight!

Louis B. Lave, Deputy Sheriff
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Lost Hills Malibu Sheriff's Station

Louis Lave, Deputy Sheriff
LASD, North Patrol Division, LHS/MAL

May 28, 2019

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