Deputy Sheriff Burton Lopez

Deputy Sheriff Burton Lopez

Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch Saturday, April 25, 2009

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Burton Lopez

Deputy Sheriff Burt Lopez and Deputy Sheriff Skip York were shot and killed while attempting to arrest a domestic violence suspect at a shooting range at 3985 US-90 in Crestview.

The deputies were following up on a domestic assault report they had taken hours earlier and located the suspect at a gun club in Crestview. The suspect was in the parking lot standing next to his truck. Deputy Lopez and Deputy York approached the man, had a brief conversation with him, and then informed him he was going to be arrested. As the deputies moved to handcuff him, he became uncooperative and began to resist arrest. Deputy York deployed his Taser and hit the suspect. The suspect dropped to the ground during the five-second jolt of electricity. When the Taser cycle ended, the man immediately drew a concealed handgun and opened fire. Deputy Lopez was able to radio for assistance while he and Deputy York engaged the man in a gun battle.

During the exchange of gunfire, Deputy Lopez was mortally wounded. The suspect then climbed into his truck to escape. Deputy York pulled the passenger-side door open and jumped inside in an effort to pull the man from the vehicle, but was shot and mortally wounded.

The man fled the scene and opened fire at deputies from the Walton County Sheriff's Office during a vehicle pursuit. The man's vehicle was rammed by deputies, causing it to flip over near the intersection of U.S. Highway 331 and U.S. 90 in DeFuniak Springs. The man exited the truck and opened fire at the deputies, who returned fire, killing him.

Deputy York and Deputy Lopez were airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola. They succumbed to their injuries later in the day.

Deputy Lopez was a U.S. Air Force veteran and had served with the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office for six years. He is survived by his wife and five children.


  • Age 44
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge 195
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Shot and killed

arrest, domestic

Most Recent Reflection

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I knew MSgt Lopez while we served a Ellsworth AFB, SD. I was saddened by his death and know he paid the ultimate price for protecting the pubic. In this day and age, I continue to defend the rule of law and in his memory, believe police departments require more funding, not less.


June 13, 2020

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