Deputy Sheriff Dirk Alan Leonardson

Deputy Sheriff Dirk Alan Leonardson

Riverside County Sheriff's Department, California

End of Watch Saturday, October 4, 1980

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Dirk Alan Leonardson

Deputy Sheriff Dirk Leonardson was accidentally shot and killed by another officer in a case of mistaken identity.

Deputy Leonardson was at home when he went outside to investigate suspicious noise in his apartment complex, which had recently been the target of vandals. Deputy Leonardson was carrying his gun when an officer from the Blythe Police Department observed him in a dim light and shot him after mistaking him for an armed criminal.

Deputy Leonardson had served with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department for two years. He was survived by his wife and parents.


  • Age 24
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge 156

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)

at home, mistaken identity, off duty

Most Recent Reflection

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I think often of this young man. We worked the same shift together. He had an ability to get through the clutter and arrive at the details in order to solve a case.

Dirk was funny, intelligent and dedicated.

Glenn Bevin
Riverside Sheriff's Department

November 19, 2020

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