Detective Sergeant Samuel A. Hicks

Detective Sergeant Samuel A. Hicks

King County Sheriff's Office, Washington

End of Watch Thursday, June 24, 1982

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Samuel A. Hicks

Sergeant Samuel Hicks was shot and killed by a murder suspect in a rural area of King County east of Seattle. Sergeant Hicks and another investigator had gone to the location to verify the accuracy of a tip given to them in a murder investigation. While at the scene they encountered the suspect as they were driving down a long, wooded driveway.

The suspect opened fire on their patrol car with high powered rifle. As the officers returned fire and attempted to locate cover Sergeant Hicks was struck in the chest and killed.

The suspect, 29, was taken into custody following the incident. He and his cousin were wanted in Seattle for robbing and murdering a man a week earlier. He was convicted of murdering Sergeant Hicks and sentenced to life without parole. As of July 20, 2022, he was in prison.

Sergeant Hicks had served with the agency for 18 years. He was survived by his wife and six children.


  • Age 38
  • Tour 18 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; .308 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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I and John “Tim” Early grew up best of friends since 1st grade. It didn’t start off well in our initial meeting due to we got into a fight, which neither one of us could remember what it was about afterwards, and laughed at ourselves about it. The dye was cast as two peas in a pod. Wherever one was, the other was sure to be.

Fast forward years later. Tim, as he preferred being called by and I kept in touch sporadically with each of us going our own paths after high school. I was out of the state when my mom called, telling me to sit down. In a slow almost quiet voice asked when I’d talked with Tim last. By this time the feeling of something bad was overwhelming, and asked what’s happened ? Tim had been shot and killed. It changed me forever.

Immediately went home, and Tim’s father’s house. Who began to tear up as I got out of my car. The grief in his whole body as a father who’s son died before him cannot be described. A man who was a baseball coach with my dad, and keeping us out of mischief by giving positive examples to help us make better decisions in life. Was just crushed by it all.

I am now in my sixties, and still think of Tim at times. Think of his father too. Think of sergeant Sam Hicks, his family, and the sacrifice he made for someone he did not even know. To knowingly place his own life in harms way. God, has a special place in His heart for people like him. I thank you Mr. Hicks, and your family, friends, and those who knew you. Thanking God there are people like you today, giving us hope for a better future.

Today my life has been driven to help others, especially through my church. One of my brothers has been in law enforcement for about 30 plus years. Have learned about forgiveness albeit slowly for Tim’s and sergeant Hicks murderer. I and my wife know the crushing emptiness of losing a child. Almost an excuse to imply what goes around, comes around. But I prefer looking at it, as an affirmation of angels in this world who touch our lives giving hope personally, or are behind the scenes when we don’t even know them doing so in their own quiet way.
Thank you,
Detective Sergeant Samuel A. Hicks.

H. Vincent James Jr.
Friend of John “Tim” Early

March 3, 2021

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