Officer Gilbert Richard Chavez

Officer Gilbert Richard Chavez

Phoenix Police Department, Arizona

End of Watch Monday, June 16, 1975

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Gilbert Richard Chavez

Officer Gilbert Chavez was shot and killed and his partner was wounded by one of two youths juvenile during a burglary of a Phoenix radiator business. Officer Chavez and his partner had entered the business after dispatchers received an anonymous tip that a burglary was in progress. The officer located one of two suspects and a struggle ensued. Officer Chavez was shot near the heart and critically wounded but managed to radio for help before dying.

The killer, 16, was convicted of murder, assault with deadly weapon, and sentenced to life. He was paroled in 2000. In April of 2004 he tied his girlfriend to a bed post and beat her with a cane. A month later he was apprehended by U.S. Marshals in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was convicted of possession of a gun by a convicted felon, aggravated assault, and kidnapping and sentenced to 56 years. As of October 15, 2022, he was in still in prison. His companion, 17, was convicted of second degree murder, burglary, and sentenced to 15 to 25 years. On August 17, 1981, he was paroled.

Officer Chavez had served with the agency for one year. He was survived by his wife.


  • Age 22
  • Tour 1 year
  • Badge 2684

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Paroled in 2000

burglary, juvenile offender

Most Recent Reflection

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About Gilbert, the last words we spoke was the Friday before this incident. He thanked my partner (the late Phoenix Police Reserve Sergeant Carl Naegle) and me for being his back up, the second of that Friday shift. He was one of a few officers who did not mind Reserves being on the street. That same partner and I had lamented often that we wished we had been on the street that Monday night. It should be mentioned that at the time, there were no portable radios. Gilbert had to make it back to his patrol car, mortally wounded, to put out his 998, an officer involved shooting, before he passed away.

Candy (Reid) Cruse, PPR Lt. (25 years)
Phoenix Police Reserves

August 4, 2020

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