Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff Keith George Ruiz

Travis County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch Thursday, February 15, 2001

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Reflections for Deputy Sheriff Keith George Ruiz

I've been retired for many years now, but I will always remember meeting you in the academy class behind me and both of us working together, backing each other up in the Jonestown area or just meeting up to talk. I visit your resting place often... Rest in peace my brother.

Sgt. Glenn Copeland
Travis County Constable Pct. 5

February 17, 2022

Rest in peace Deputy Sheriff Ruiz.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

May 16, 2020

I was a young officer with the Austin Police Department who had just pulled into the old jail to book a prisoner. One more day would be "my Friday" but this particular Thursday night changed me. When I heard about the shooting, as a young officer, I was rocked to the core. Your line of duty death was the first of many others unfortunately that will forever be etched in my mind. Attending the funeral to support your memory and your family was the part of law enforcement that I never wanted to know intimately. Almost 18 years later, I still remember it all like yesterday.
RIP and my God continue to comfort Bern and your family.

Former Officer
Austin Police Department

November 24, 2018

Rest in Peace Deputy Keith G. Ruiz. Thank You for your Service and Sacrifice. I Pray for Peace for your Family, Friends and Co-Workers. I also Pray that the hounds of hell forever gnaw at the flesh of your murderer.


Senior Special Agent B.L. Sherwood
Port Terminal Railroad Police Houston,TX

February 15, 2016

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

September 19, 2014

Keith was a Travis County success story. He had graduated from a local high school and eventually got a job working in the jail. He quickly gained self esteem and a career path. He was promoted to Corrections Officer II, tested for and was accepted for patrol, worked in patrol till he was eligible to attend the sixty-hour basic SWAT school. Upon successful completion of the school, he applied to SWAT. He had now worked for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office for over five years and he had found his calling.
I was the lieutenant of the team when Keith went through training and applied for SWAT. I was very selective about who was eligible for this team.
Not only would the candidate have to have the obvious characteristics of excellent strength, stamina, shooting skills and quick intelligence for rapid problem-solving, but, each candidate also had to pass an extensive background investigation. No history of citizen complaints was acceptable. No misunderstandings between co-workers, no record of injured suspects during arrest.
We had to have strong and capable cops for SWAT, but we also had to have cops who were not “hair triggers” nor were likely to take a bad situation and make it worse.
We carefully and completely interviewed past supervisors and reviewed every arrest report involving the candidate for the years prior to their application.
Keith passed with flying colors.
A family man, he spent his off-duty time involved with his wife and sons. Coaching softball, attending church and making home repairs were the tasks he enjoyed.
On duty, he was the solid team member. He was always ready to do his job and ready to help his partner get his part done. He was ready and capable to take on any task in the lineup of the entry team member. Additionally he cross-trained in counter-sniper operations to make him the well-rounded SWAT team member.
In January of 1996, he attended a military school put on by JTF6, for SWAT teams involved in counter drug operations. It was called “Recondo training.”
The Army had created the school in the sixties during Vietnam. It was combinations of the long range reconnaissance school and the hard fighting commando training. Hence the name “Recondo.”
It taught officers to survive in hostile places, to keep their heads and locate the target, make the mission be successful and get home.
In the 1965 school, the final exam put the student under live conditions, tracking enemies that were tracking him. Failure meant death. It was a serious hard-ass school.
In January 1996, it was nineteen degrees and sleeting. The class started on a Sunday afternoon and would not end until Saturday at noon. We soon learned the Army instructors were going to make this training be as serious as the original. Class days were twenty hours long. We had dorms on the military base, but we were locked out after the first day. No shelter, no food, no water. We were given instruction in winter survival techniques, so we built carefully camouflaged shelters, learned how to melt the ice from the tree branches for water and tracked mice for food.
All while being presented with “hunt and find the bad guys before they find and kill you” scenarios. At 2:00 am we would be carrying forty-five-pound packs quietly through the frozen forest, with no lights to guide us and making no sound as we moved, following specific compass headings for miles to locate the “target” before the “target” located us. Once we located the target, we had to capture them. When we were done, we got to sleep for four hours in a camouflaged hole.
It was seven long cold days of intense hard fighting and difficult work. We came home from the Recondo training competent, strong and capable of long difficult missions.
Keith loved every minute of it.
He excelled at it. He was in his environment.
His loss will long be recognized as an awful occurrence.

Tommy Blackwell
Retired Lieutenant
Travis County Sheriff's Office

June 18, 2013

I am attending the county's Basic Peace Officer Course with hopes of making it to patrol...I only hope that I will live up to your standards and those of all the other brave deputies who have gone before me. Your courage and actions give me strength and push me to be my best. Thanks for helping me out even though you never knew me...

Sr. Corrections Officer
Travis County Sheriff's Office

May 28, 2012

Keith, you were a true friend, an outstanding human and the right kind of cop. Always one of the star troops. I will always miss you my friend!

Tim Gage (Ret.)
Former Sgt and friend

February 15, 2012

RIP Sir, never forgotten

James Kotke
Civilian / Former Officer
WSF Park Police (Wi.)

February 15, 2012

Never forgotten.

Constable Amanda Pandolfi #1249
York Regional Police, Ontario Canada

February 15, 2011

It is hard to believe you left us 10 years ago. Hearing your name still causes me to choke up and brings a tear to me eye. I think about the off duty jobs we worked together and how patient you were when I was a rookie. Godspeed and safe journeys brother. I pray daily that your family finds peace.


January 24, 2011

Nine years ago we were devastated. Time has helped but will never make it go away. Many still ask why.
Your family is in our prayers and your sacrifice as well as theirs is never far from the hearts and minds of TCSO.

Your life and sacrifice are not forgotten....not in 9 years and not ever!

Cpl Miller

February 15, 2010

Thinking of you and your today


February 15, 2010

Your heroism and service is honored today, the anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service.

Rest In Peace and I'll see you on the other side.

Sgt Don "Boots" Jensen

Don P Jensen
Milwaukee Wisconsin Police, Retired

February 15, 2010

My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones and friends on this anniversary of your EOW. Continue to keep watch over them and those still out on patrol watching over the Thin Blue Line. You will never be forgotten.

James Sheppard
Father of Sgt. Jason L. Sheppard EOW 12/7/06

February 15, 2010

This is for Berna...I have watched you through the years and seen your pain. I thought with time, the pain would be less, but I imagine it's just as real today as it was almost 9 years ago. I continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers and just know you still have a family here at TCSO that thinks about you and loves you very much. I will continue to remember Keith and his life and love for you and all his boys. Keep hanging in there Berna.


January 28, 2010

Keith, Seems like only yesterday that we were going through doors together. The team still thinks and talks about you alot. You are a true warrior in every sense of the word and we are better because of you.


December 9, 2009

Forgive me for missing the anniversary of your E.O.W., but I felt as though I could not continue to read about so many tragedies. I now realize the visit each day to leave a word of encouragement and hope to the loved ones of others, helps me to remember that I am not alone with my pain and heartbreak. So may I say to your friends and loved ones that my thoughts and prayers are with them now and always. Continue to keep watch over them and those still out on patrol and may they know you will never be forgotten.

James Sheppard
Father of Sgt. Jason L. Sheppard EOW 12/7/06

February 25, 2009

We never forget.

Didn't know what to say -- and still don't. 2/15 is a date I will never forget.....just don't know what to say here, the words never sound good enough.

I try to tell your story to the new officers I train -- to add prayers for your family and to ensure that you are never forgotten.

Take care of the new ones who are just arriving with you....we do our best to hold their families up.


Cpl Miller

February 23, 2009

To Deputy Keith Ruiz, his loved ones, and his fellow deputies:

On this the eighth anniversary of your tragic death, please know that your memory is honored and revered today.

My heart is with all family members and friends who call you beloved. They are all in my thoughts and prayers today. I can see from the loving reflections left by your loyal friends that you were an amazing man who is loved and missed by all those whose lives you touched.

This world, this country, your community truly are better places because of you. To have lost you is a great tragedy, an irreplaceable, immeasurable loss for society. We are grateful for and to you, and honor you for all you did for us day in and day out whether you received a word of thanks or praise.

Rest in Peace, Keith. I am so humbled by your valor and service.

This reflection is sent with the utmost respect for the distinquished service Keith gave to his community and the citizens of Texas, and for the supreme sacrifice he and his family made on February 15, 2001.

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater, eow 4/24/05

February 15, 2009

Thinking of you and your family today, Bernadette continues to fight for what is right, she does not understand the word NO, and quit is not an option. Most people do not understand that when an officer is killed, they directly or indirectly save the lives of others. We will continue to work to make life on earth a living hell for criminals, as we live it everyday.

il resto il mio coraggioso pacificamente
may the brave rest peacefully


February 15, 2009

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1993 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

March 5, 2008

Seven years have passed since you were called away from duty and you have not been forgotten. Continue to watch over all of your loved ones and those still out on patrol. You are thought of ever single day by your loved ones and they carry you close to them in their hearts. You are a true hero and heroes never die. Thank you for your dedicated service to law enforcement.

Bob Gordon
Father of Chicago Officer: Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/06

February 15, 2008



February 10, 2008

It's Feb 1 again and that means that another year has passed since you were taken from us. I know that pain is not as fresh as it was even 6 years ago as we approached that final "first"....that first year without you.
You are truly missed at the SO -- there are so many new faces that never got the opportunity to meet you or work with you. But there are those whose memories will never fade.
I know you watch down on us all. There are too many rookies for you to welcome to shift in Heaven. It stinks from down here but somehow, knowing that you are there to help them out makes it a little less painful. Thank you for watching over us no matter what our shift might bring.
You are not forgotten! You are a HERO today as you were everyday! I continue to pray for your family, especially in the days leading up to the anniversary of your call to God's force. You are missed and you are loved.


February 1, 2008

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