Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Officer Johnny Ramirez Martinez

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch Friday, October 2, 1981

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Reflections for Officer Johnny Ramirez Martinez

Thanks for your sacrifice and outstanding service to the Marines and CHP. My brother (Jon) was deeply affected by your passing. I met a lot of you guys at the CHP graduation. I know my brother respected you like no other and loved working in East L.A. I hope your wife and children are doing well.

James Lopey, Assistant Sheriff (Ret)
Washoe County Sheriff's Office (Reno, Nevada)
Nevada DPS

October 2, 2023

GOD BLESS YOU BROTHER! You will NEVER Be Forgotten!! It’s been 42 years since you were tragically taken away from us. I was working that dreadful day and my heart broke hearing on the radio that the two of you were shot and down. All I could do was pray for the two you bc of my motor being serviced at the shop. My heart still breaks today! Rest In Peace Brother.

Alex Parra, #9498 (Retired)
California Highway Patrol

October 2, 2023

This was my mother's cousin's son, Officer Johnny R. Martinez was mentoring me as a troubled teen. He actually had me enlisting into the United States Marines, basically to follow in his footsteps. Well, that never materialized as I was not accepted due to omission of drug use. But I am a warrior of another Army so to speak, one that goes onto Eternal Bliss. Thank you Johnny, Thank you Jesus.........

Enrique Rios (No rank, but never a rank)
2nd Cousin

December 1, 2021

Officer Martinez,
On today, the 40th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the USMC in Vietnam. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!
A fellow LEO; former Marine

United States Border Patrol

October 2, 2021

Rest in peace and always know that your service and sacrifice will never be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

October 2, 2020

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

I was on the call the day you passed.
You are thought of everyday, more so when I see a CHP motor. I often say a prayer for you and Jim Zabo.
Never forgotten.

John Collins. Sergeant (Ret)
Alhambra Police Department

February 12, 2020

Semper Fi Marine. Rest In Peace. You will always be in our hearts. To your wife and family, God bless you all and may you know that you are also in our hearts and minds. Your husband and your father has held up the tradition of the California Highway Patrol and we are all so very proud to call him Brother. Rest In Peace CHPY. Semper Fi.

State Traffic Officer 7185 and United St
California Highway Patrol/SLA Area 530

October 2, 2019

Rest In Peace Brother. We honor you on the 36th anniversary of your EOW. You are not forgotten.

Officer Mike Robinson, (Ret)
City of Upland, CA

October 2, 2017

Hi Johnny,
It's been 35 years since you left us and
a day doesn't go by that I don't think about
that call to the I-10 Freeway in the City of Alhambra.
I know you are looking over us from heaven and always will.
May God keep you close to his side.

John Kabala
Alhambra Police Officer- Retired

October 3, 2016

To all of Officer Johnny Martinez's family, fellow Officers and friends, I am reaching out to see if we can honor Johnny on the 35th year anniversary of his death. I was considering connecting with the ELA CHP Captain to see if it would be appropriate. I truly feel that Johnny should never be forgotten and honoring him on October 2, 2016 at the ELA CHP Office would be a noble thing to do.
Officer Martinez served the ELA area and was gunned down in Alhambra on the west bound Interstate 10 on the afternoon of October 1, 1981. I was probably the last person (Officer) to speak with him before he passed on October 2, 1981.
35 years later, I am still taken back by Officer Martinez's professionalism and courage.
Officer John Kabala
(Retired/ City of Alhambra Police Department)

John Kabala/ Police Officer
Alhambra Police Department

June 28, 2016

I would like to commend Officer Kabala for his actions. I am proud to have been a friend, co-worker and fellow classmate of Officer Johnny Martinez, ID #8813. We attended the CHP Academy together. We also worked in East LA CHP together for a couple of years. My Academy room-mate, Officer Chuck Marek, were closer to Johnny because Johnny's room-mate left the Academy in the 15th week and he was our neighbor. We were young then but we all loved East LA - It was the best office I ever worked in during my nearly 33 years with the CHP. Johnny was a fine officer and he knew how to treat people. He was officer-safety conscious and he was a hard worked. I got to know Johnny during our time at the Academy and East LA. He loved his family. Lydia, his wife, was one of the nicest people I ever met and she was always considerate of others. I remember Johnny talking about his daughter and later, his son, whom he loved dearly. Chuck Pore, who also wrote a few comments was also a classmate and a good man too. What a lot of folks don't realize is we in CTC 1-77 were mostly from the same platoon and we volunteered for East LA because we heard it was the best office. The last Christmas party for the office that I attended prior to my transfer in 1980, was the party that resulted in a shootout with alleged gang members who tried to crash the party. I arrived late and Lydia Martinez, being the kind and considerate person she was, asked me to dance just prior to the incident. A few years ago, prior to leaving the CHP, I was honored to be asked by the Commissioner to attend a parole board hearing for Johnny's killer. I also knew Jim Szabo, who also shot that day and I worked with his cousin, Paul Simonson in Oakland later. I testified and so did a LA County Deputy DA. His killer did not get the medical parole I sought. I salute Officer Kabala, retired Captain Szabo, Lydia and the Johnny's brave kids. Lydia and the kids have borne the brunt of this tragic and senseless loss of a good man. One thing I mentioned during the parole hearing was that Johnny and I were also former Marines. He fought for his country in Viet Nam, returned home, raised a family, went on the CHP in his late 20's and was truly the type of law enforcement professional that the citizens and we all need. He was a true hero and I think of him and Lydia often. Men like that do not come along every day and I will never forget him, his family, or the East LA office. God Bless them and Semper Fidelis, Johnny! We are all at least in our 60's now and no member of CTC 1-77 is left in active service on the CHP. I still serve in law enforcement and was one of the last members of my class to retire; however, every time I think of East LA or I traverse the highways of LA, including the interchange and freeway named in his honor, I think of him, Lydia, Jim, and his fabulous kids. Johnny Martinez, #8813 is gone but he will never be forgotten. Semper Fidelis, Johnny! We will see you soon in God's Heaven reserved for special servants who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the citizens we serve.
Sheriff Jon E. Lopey, Siskiyou County (Retired CHP #8799)

Sheriff Jon E. Lopey
Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office

March 13, 2016

God bless Officer Martinez and Sgt. Heaps. You're both Angels that sit on high and watches over us all. Thank you for your sacrafice. Never forgotten!!!!!!

Retired Detective Lionel Garrett
Inglewood Police Department

October 25, 2015

"When a good man is hurt, all who would be called good must suffer with him.”


Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

September 24, 2015

I served with Johnny Martinez in East LA. I remember attending a office Christmas party and sat at the table with Johnny and his wife. Rest in Peace!!!

Dale Kennedy, S.T.O.
CHP retired

June 11, 2015

Officer Kabala, your story is so appreciated though it hurts so deeply. Johnny was a classmate, and truly one of the kindest people I ever met. For what you did in trying to save him ... in the pain you shared ... we are appreciative. CHP Class CTC 1-77.

Chuck Poré, Deputy Sheriff
Lake County Sheriff's Office

February 7, 2015

To the Martinez Family and Officer Johnny Martinez,
On October 1, 1981, I was a City of Alhambra Police Officer working the south city car which also responds to the I-10 Freeway for crime calls. I had just completed my probationary year and was working solo when I received the call to respond to the freeway because 2 CHP Officers had just been shot. When I arrived on scene I first encountered Officer Jim Szabo who was Johnny's partner on Motors. When I approached Szabo I observed that he had been shot several times and rendered him first aid and requested as much help as I could get. When additional units arrived on scene, I was informed by a elderly female motorist that there was another CHP Officer down approximately 1/4 mile west of my location in the HOV lane near Fremont Avenue. I immediately drove my unit to that location and encountered Johnny who had been shot 2 times from what I could see. It was then Johnny reached out to me with his right hand and grabbed mine and said,"please don't let me die on this freeway, please get me out of here." I told Johnny that Paramedics were enroute, but i could see that his condition was extremely grave and the response time was going to be extended due to traffic congestion and the confusion of the 2 Officers been wounded a quarter mile apart. Johnny told me that he loved his wife and 2 kids and he asked me to get him to a hospital. At that time, I picked him up with another Alhambra Motor Officer and a CHP Motor Officer and placed him into the back of my patrol unit. Everything was extremely chaotic and everything seemed to be moving in slow motion. I remember talking to Johnny on the way the hospital and we even laughed a little to help him forget about the pain he was in and calm the stressful situation. I drove as fast I my police unit would let me go and got Johnny to the hospital within minutes. There was a team of Doctors at the emergency room door who quickly attended to Johnny's wounds. I stood by collecting his uniform, gun belt, boots, etc. as they prepared him for surgery. When a CHP Sergeant arrived on scene, I handed him all of Johnny's gear. As I stood in the ER, I was at a loss and the adrenaline began to subside. My former FTO was on duty that afternoon and came up to me and said, "John we gotta go clean up your car." While cleaning the back of my patrol unit I found one of Johnny's gun belt keepers. I remember it vividly because it was black with 2 bronze buttons and my gun belt were black with silver buttons. I looked at my former FTO and told him how i needed to return it.
There is so much more I could say about that day, but it saddens me to think about it. I think about that day everyday of my life. I will never forget it. I just want the Martinez Family to know that I tried my best to save their husband and their Dad. I truly tried my best.
During my brief time with Johnny, I could immediately tell that he was a nice man who loved his family, had a sense of humor even though he was shot and he was brave.
I had never met Johnny prior to that day, but I consider him my Brother. God Bless You Johnny. I know you have been looking over me all of these years from heaven.

John Kabala/ Police Officer (Retired)
Alhambra Police Department

December 30, 2014

Rest in Peace, sir.

Stockton Fire Dept. Ca

October 2, 2014

Uncle Johnny, its hard to believe 31 years have passed since this dreadful day in our families life. However, I still remember it like it was yesterday. The crazy part is Oct 1 is the same date I was later sworn in as a Police Officer. Although you are gone, you and the sacrifice you made have never been forgotten. RIP Uncle Johnny.

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. (Joseph Campbell) You are a true hero!

Deanna Mora,Police Officer
San Diego Police Department

October 1, 2013

Officer Martinez,
On today, the 31st anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of California. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


U.S. Border Patrol

October 2, 2012

I think of you often, Johnny, my partner and academy classmate.

Walt Witt, #8811 Assistant Chief, (Ret.)

August 18, 2012

Rest in Peace, Officer Martinez. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

October 22, 2009

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 28th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya


October 2, 2009

God bless you OFC Martinez.

DFC. Daniel O'Donnell
Orange County Sheriff's Office (FL)

July 23, 2008

It's been 26 years since you went away, but it seems like yesterday. Remembering how you would always stop and talk to the little kids in the neighbor, even when you were really tired, because they loved CHIPS.
Rest in peace, my friend.


Kathy Porter

October 20, 2007

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