Patrolman Jesse Joe "Bo" Hittson

Patrolman Jesse Joe "Bo" Hittson

Yreka Police Department, California

End of Watch Monday, July 17, 1978

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Jesse Joe "Bo" Hittson

Patrolman Bo Hittson was shot and killed while chasing several suspects into the hills.

At 11 pm, police responded to a call for help from a liquor store and bar, which had been the scene of a brawl and robbery where the clerk received a knife wound to the back. Officers witnessed five subjects running from the store and pursued them on State Route 263 to the Rocky Gulch area.

Patrolman Hittson was called back on duty to help capture the subjects. Over 20 Yreka police officers, California Highway Patrol Officers, and Siskiyou County Sheriff Deputies attempted to apprehend the subjects when the youths fired at the officers. Patrolman Hittson was struck one time in the chest by a shot from a .22 caliber rifle. More than 100 rounds were exchanged. A California Highway Patrolman was also injured before the five youths surrendered.

The shooter was sentenced to death but was acquitted during a retrial. The shooter's sister was sentenced to life. Three others were convicted of second-degree murder.

Patrolman Hittson had served with the Yreka Police Department. He was survived by his mother, two sisters, and a brother who was a Police Officer in Alaska.


  • Age 27
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; .22 caliber
  • Offender Acquitted

ambush, juvenile, robbery

Most Recent Reflection

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Somebody mentioned Yreka yesterday and I thought of Bo. Bo and his brother were in my Butte police academy class back in 1976. He had a 68' Corvette like mine and we use to race to the the academy from our hotel in Oroville. I think we were both around 21 or 22 yrs old. Great sense of humor, easy going, and all around nice guy. I drove up there for his funeral so long ago but I still have him in my memory. God Bless our officers and bless Bo.

Glen Russell, STO retired
CHP, Dixon PD, Solano Sheriff, Mtn View PD

August 29, 2023

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