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 Ricardo Lizarraga, Police Officer

Ricardo Lizarraga

Friday, February 20, 2004

Lizarraga, Ricardo

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Rank: Police Officer

Serial Number: 36046

Division: Newton

Location: 1743 W. 48th St.

Date Killed: Friday, February 20, 2004

Cause of Death: Shooting

Bio:Officer Lizarraga was shot and killed while
investigating a domestic disturbance in the Leimert Park area of
Los Angeles. He and his partner were flagged down by a woman while
on patrol. The woman informed the two officers she was having
problems with a friend and wanted him removed from her home. As the
officers approached the man to search him, he pulled out a handgun
and opened fire, striking Officer Lizarraga in the abdomen, below
his vest. Officer Lizarraga's partner returned fire as the suspect
fled the scene.

Officer Lizarraga was transported to a local hospital where he died
from his wounds approximately 2 hours later. The suspect was
arrested about 3 hours after the shooting during a large manhunt.
The shooter was a gang member who was on parole and had a long
criminal history. The suspect attempted to hang himself in his cell
a few hours after his first court appearance. He died the next day
from the wounds he received in that attempt.

Officer Lizarraga joined the LAPD on September 25, 2001 and
graduated from the Los Angeles Police Academy in April 2002. He
worked patrol assignments in the 77th Street Area and one year
later transferred to the Newton Area. He chose Newton because there
he could use his fluent Spanish in the community. He felt it was a
great privilege to be working a Z-Car Unit.

Officer Ricardo Lizarraga was born on January 24, 1973 in Los
Angeles, California, as the eldest son of Candolario and Cristina.
He has a younger brother and two sisters. As a child, he was a
"happy" little boy, picking up everything in sight and putting it
in his mouth. Richardo played sports at Hamilton High School where
he excelled in baseball and loved to play football. Although he was
the biggest kid around, he hated fighting.

He worked for Hughes Market for approximately 10 years as a clerk.
Ricardo met his wife Joyce there, and they eventually married.
Ricardo and Joyce enjoyed traveling. He would go to mom's for
breakfast in the morning even after he got married.

Ricardo was quite an athlete. He was excited about being on the
LAPD football team - recently boasting about having bars on his
nose from being driven into the ground face first. He also enjoyed
football and pick-up games of basketball at the park or with his
young cousins who loved to challenge him. Whenever he had a chance,
he went golfing or running.

Ricardo was a very thoughtful son. He always told his mom -
"whatever you want, mom" and got it for her. To all of us, Ricardo
was the "gentle giant" that we all love and miss dearly.

Officer Lizarraga had served with the Los Angeles Police Department
for 2.5 years. He is survived by his wife, parents, brother, and
two sisters.

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