Deputy Sheriff Ronald E. Ludlow

EOW: Aug 13, 1965

Ronald E. Ludlow

Deputy Ronald Ludlow was shot and killed during the Watts Riots.

He and other deputies were at the intersection of Wilmington Avenue and Imperial Highway attempting to disperse a crowd from a liquor store that had been looted and set on fire. Shots were fired at the deputies as they attempted to protect the store. A car pulled up to the store and another deputy pointed his shotgun at the vehicle while ordering the car to leave the area.

One of the men in the vehicle grabbed the barrel of the shotgun and during the struggle the weapon discharged hitting Deputy Ludlow in the stomach.

Deputy Ludlow was placed in a patrol car and died while being transported to a local hospital. Deputy Ludlow was the first fatality of the Watts Riots. As a result of the riots, the Los Angeles Police Department formed the world’s first modern-day SWAT team.

The man who murdered him was convicted of murder but was subsequently acquitted after appealing the conviction.

Deputy Ludlow was survived by his wife and three children.