Sergeant Sagotal

Sergeant Sagotal

San Carlos Apache Tribal Police Department, Tribal Police

End of Watch Wednesday, April 19, 1882

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Sergeant Sagotal and Chief of Police Albert Sterling were killed by a group of Indians, including Geronimo, who were coming to raid the town of San Carlos, Arizona.

Chief Sterling and Sergeant Sagotal rode out to intercept them at their camp near the confluence of the San Carlos River and Gila River. The group shot both officers, killing Chief Sterling and wounding Sergeant Sagotal. Despite his wounds, Sergeant Sagotal rode back to town, organized a posse, and returned to the area. Upon their return, Sergeant Sagotal was fatally wounded. Chief Sterling was killed first and the guide later.

The group of Indians, numbering over 100, murdered over 50 people as they made their way to Mexico. They were attacked by both United States and Mexican troopers in which over 90 warriors were killed and over 30 women and children were captured.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Arizona
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

View all 2 Reflections

Sgt. Sagotal: Thanks for your service to the San Carlos tribal police. The circumstances of your death exudes heroism of epic historical significance. First you and Chief Sterling rode out to meet over 100 Indians, conceivably to stop them from raiding San Carlos. This took courage and bravery. You were then wounded after confronting the marauding Apaches--during the same shootout the Chief was killed, but you still went back to town, organized a posse, despite your wounds, and rode out to confront Geronimo's band again! If ever, fellow peace officers should take pause to acknowledge true heroes, it is now. Thanks for honoring our profession and thank you for your sacrifice and your attempts to protect those who lived in the San Carlos region--truly a miraculous feat of bravery.

James Lopey, Assistant Sheriff (Ret)
Washoe County Sheriff's Office (Reno, Nevada)
Nevada DPS

April 19, 2021

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