Deputy Jerry Ortiz was shot and killed after knocking on a door during an investigation.
Deputy Ortiz had gone to an apartment complex in the city of Hawaiian Gardens to question a woman about a shooting that had taken place the previous day. As he spoke to the woman at the door of the apartment, the suspect in the previous day’s shooting appeared and shot him in the head. The man then fled into an apartment three doors away. Deputies found him hiding in a bathtub three hours later.
The suspect, who was on parole and had prior arrests for convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest, burglary, as well as for gun and drug crimes, was charged with first degree murder and faces the death penalty.
In April 2007 the suspect was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to death.
Six months prior to this incident, Deputy Ortiz’s brother-in-law, Corrections Officer Manuel A. Gonzalez, of the California Department of Corrections, was stabbed to death by a gang member inmate at California Institution for Men in Chino.
Deputy Ortiz had served with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for 15 years and was assigned to the Anti-Gang Unit. He is survived by his wife, two sons, and mother. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Los Angeles, California.