Officer John Anthony Valenzuela

Officer John Anthony Valenzuela

South Tucson Police Department, Arizona

End of Watch Monday, May 17, 1993

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John Anthony Valenzuela

Officer John Valenzuela was shot and killed when he and other officers went to a home near the intersection West 38th Street & South 9th Avenue to serve a warrant as part of a sex offense investigation involving a female elementary school student.

Officer Valenzuela was a school resource officer and had been informed of the offense by the victim earlier in the day. The officers made contact with the suspect in the home's garage and were immediately engaged in a shootout. The offender retreated inside the home when his rifle was damaged by gunfire. He obtained a second rifle and then shot Officer Valenzuela, who was concealed behind a bush.

The other officers returned fire, killing the subject.

Officer Valenzuela had served with the South Tucson Police Department for two years. He was survived by his fiancée and parents.


  • Age 27
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge 225

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Shot and killed

sex offense, warrant

Most Recent Reflection

View all 22 Reflections

I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard about John. It was on that day I decided I did not want to be a cop any longer.

I worked maybe one rotation with John which means we probably worked 3 days together for 3 or 4 month. John had what it takes and was a pleasure to work with.

It has been 30 years and it breaks my heart just like it was yesterday .

Rest in peace my brother!! Hope to see you in the afterlife. God Bless!!

Keith Smith

June 25, 2023

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