Sergeant Vernon T. Vanderpool

Sergeant Vernon T. Vanderpool

Palos Verdes Estates Police Department, California

End of Watch Monday, February 14, 1994

Add to My Heroes

Vernon T. Vanderpool

Sergeant Vernon Vanderpool and Captain Michael Tracy were shot and killed while attending a department staff training seminar at the Holiday Inn in Torrance, California.

The two officers were killed during an attempted robbery when a gunman burst into their conference room. Sergeant Vanderpool immediately lunged at the gunman and was shot. Captain Tracy was shot when he attempted help Sergeant Vanderpool. The robber, who was wearing a bullet proof vest, choked to death on the vest while being subdued by other officers.

Sergeant Vanderpool had been with the agency for 13 years and had previously served with the Los Angeles Police Department for nine years.


  • Age 57
  • Tour 22 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Killed during struggle

Most Recent Reflection

View all 27 Reflections

Sir, first and foremost, I would like to thank you for your courageous and non-selfish performance of work during your line of duty that you not only performed the day of this horrific incident, yet throughout your whole career. Sergeant Vanderpool, your tactics and bravery to take down a felonious encounter without thinking twice about putting your life on the line leaves me thankful for having law enforcement officials like yourself in this world. I face the Memorial Wall at Biscailuz Academy Center and see your name on the wall and salute to you for your service.

As for myself who is currently in the academy striving to become a Los Angeles Sheriff Department Deputy, I myself desire to protect and serve every individual in the community not only when they are in times of conflict, but also when they need guidance. The date of your EOW leaves me shattered due to it being not only Valentine's Day, but also the anniversary of your marriage. I cannot imagine how difficult it was for your wife and family knowing that during the day where "love is in the air" and it being the day of your marriage anniversary, your loved ones received notice of you being fatally wounded due to your brave and courageous method of operation for the specified date. I salute to you and may you be resting peacefully. Thank you always for putting your life on the line in order to stop the threat and endangering more individuals in the community.

DST Recruit Zendejas
Los Angeles Sheriff Department

April 4, 2019

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.