Officer Johnny Ramirez Martinez

Officer Johnny Ramirez Martinez

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch Friday, October 2, 1981

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Johnny Ramirez Martinez

Officer Johnny Martinez was shot and killed when he and his partner were ambushed on I-10.

The two officers were clearing debris from the San Bernardino Freeway when a vehicle pulled along side and the two occupants opened fire. The occupants had just committed an armed robbery and believed there was a road block setup to capture them.

Officer Martinez's partner had slowed traffic using his motorcycle so Officer Martinez could remove the debris. The suspects mistook this attempt to slow them down as an attempt to stop them as a result of the robbery. The suspects pulled alongside the partner and opened fire, striking him once in the neck and once in the back, but the round was stopped by his vest. The force of the round knocked the officer off of his motorcycle.

Officer Martinez did not see the shooting and thought that his partner had crashed. As Officer Martinez returned to his motorcycle to contact dispatch, the suspect vehicle pulled alongside and shot him in the back, killing him.

On January 12, 1982, one of the suspects was located in Salt Lake City, Utah, and was killed in a shootout with officers. Sergeant Ronald Heaps, of the Salt Lake City Police Department, was also killed during this shootout. Another suspect was apprehended at a different time and sentenced to death.

Officer Martinez had served with the California Highway Patrol for 4 years. He is survived by his wife.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge 8813

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, October 1, 1981
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender One later shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

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I remember Johnny well. I was in CTC I-78 and was assigned to ELA. I also attended the Christmas party as referenced by Jon Lopey. It was the ELA Christmas party in Dec 1979. I sat at the table that evening across from Johnny and his wife. After the gangbanger disrupted the party, several officers came around and asked if we had our off duty weapons. Both Johnny and I stated they were in our locked vehicles. The other officers encouraged us to get them as the gangbangers threatened to come back. A group of officers did have their weapons and walked outside and got into a gunfight with the gangbangers (boy, they were writing reports for days afterward).

Soon after the party, I transferred to Baldwin Park, and then to San Diego and Oceanside.

Since his death, I remember him and feel the pain of his death, every time a CHP officer is hurt. Johnny Martinez was the only CHP Officer that I personally knew, who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the citizens of California.

Dale Kennedy STO #9057, retired
California Highway Patrol

June 29, 2020

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