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Deputy Sheriff: Robert Lee Paris, Jr. End of Watch: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Deputy Sheriff: Bill Joe Dickens End of Watch: Tuesday, January 27, 1970
Deputy Sheriff: Harold Lee Thornton End of Watch: Wednesday, August 23, 1967

 Fallen Deputy Robert Paris

Deputy Sheriff Robert Lee Paris, Jr. 
End of Watch: Thursday, April 12, 2012

Biographical Info
Age: 53
Tour of Duty: 16 years
Badge Number: 279

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Weapon Used: Rifle
Suspect Info: Committed suicide

Deputy Sheriff Robert Paris was shot and killed while he and another deputy were serving an eviction notice at the Whispering Woods apartment complex on Chrysler Drive in Modesto.

The deputies were attempting entry into the residence around 11:00 a.m. when the suspect opened fire with a rifle, fatally wounding Deputy Paris and a civilian locksmith who had accompanied them. The suspect then barricaded himself inside the residence for several hours before committing suicide after the apartment complex caught fire.

It was later determined that the suspect was armed with 22 firearms, a gas mask, and other tactical equipment. While barricaded in the building, he cut through walls into adjoining apartments in order to have multiple vantage points.

Deputy Paris had served with the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department for 16 years. He is survived by two adult children, parents, brother, and sister.


Deputy Sheriff Bill Joe Dickens

Deputy Sheriff Bill Joe Dickens
End of Watch: Tuesday, January 27, 1970

Biographical Info
Age: 36
Tour of Duty: 9 years
Badge Number: 89

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Tuesday, January 27, 1970
Weapon Used: Handgun; .32 caliber
Suspect Info: Shot and killed

Deputy Dickens was shot and killed while responding to a bank robbery in progress. One of the two suspects was later shot and killed by other officers. The second suspect was arrested and convicted of robbery and murder of a peace officer. He was sentenced to death but the sentence was reduced to life without parole in 1972 when the death penalty was abolished.

Deputy Dickens had served with the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department for 9 years. He was survived by his wife three daughters, sister, and mother.

Additional Information:
PDF Modesto Bee - Articles

 


Deputy Sheriff Harold Lee Thornton

Deputy Sheriff Harold Lee Thornton
End of Watch: Wednesday, August 23, 1967

Biographical Info
Age: 33
Tour of Duty: 3 years
Badge Number: 38

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Wednesday, August 23, 1967
Weapon Used: Handgun; .38 caliber
Suspect Info: Shot and wounded

Deputy Harold Thornton was shot and killed after responding to a stabbing call.

The suspect opened fire on Deputy Thornton with a .38 caliber revolver, striking him several times. Although mortally wounded, Deputy Thornton returned fire and wounded the suspect, who was then taken into custody. Deputy Thornton was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

The suspect was sentenced to death but was changed in 1972 to life without parole when the death penalty was abolished. The suspect died in prison on September 9, 1980.

Deputy Thornton had served with the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department for 3 years.

Additional Information:
PDF Explorer Scout, Jim Waddell's accounts from the night of the incident

 


 
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