In 2017, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Alex Ladwig was ruthlessly attacked by a man with his own gun, shot in the face and left for dead… all while an onlooker streamed the horrific encounter on Facebook live.

After another officer’s death in the line of duty was live streamed and shared across social media this week, Ladwig is speaking out to the rest of the nation.

Ladwig (left) was shot and left for dead while onlookers streamed live video to Facebook.


“This event just absolutely disgusts me. It brings me right back to my shooting,” Ladwig said in an exclusive interview with Law Enforcement Today.

“Right back to that same lonely place as I was bleeding out from a gunshot wound to the face, wondering how long it will take the calvary to get here, looking around and seeing bystanders video taping me and streaming it to Facebook and Instagram.”

That’s right. While he lay there bleeding, the onlooker continued to broadcast the attack instead of helping the gravely wounded deputy. And not only that, the man who was filming told the suspect to get out of the area because police would be coming to get him.

We met Ladwig at an event for wounded officers in 2018 hosted by Emergency Operations Proving Grounds. During that week, we filmed an interview with him about the horrors that he faced… and miraculously survived.

“He was able to grab my gun… so quick. He came right over me and shot me right in the face.”

The suspect used Ladwig’s gun in the attack, striking him in the left side of his face. (LET)


His attacker had an extensive background with the criminal justice system.

The suspect had been arrested multiple times for battery, criminal threats, brandishing weapons, resisting arrest and involvement in a double murder, for which he served prison time.

On June 27, 2017, Ladwig was attacked while working at the Regional Transit station in Sacramento. The attack was completely unprovoked.

After the shooting, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department said that “the initial investigation shows the deputy made contact with Spann on the lower platform of the Regional Transit station. Unprovoked, Spann violently attacked the deputy and began fighting with him. At some point during the fight, Spann was able to get the deputy’s gun and fired two shots. One of the shots struck the deputy in the face.”

Ladwig says, as a country, we’ve lost sight of our morals. (GoFundMe)


Ladwig says this trend of spreading traumatic videos and images is part of a bigger problem that we’re facing in America: an overall loss of ethics.

“It’s a shock to my conscience that people can lack that much moral fiber these days. Everyone wants to be the first to have the information and some will put aside all compassion and respect, in order to get it. The news media that shared this video is just as irresponsible as the person who shot the video,” he said. 

Ladwig said that the media has lost sight of its responsibility to the public, abandoning their moral compass in an effort to get the most page views on a breaking story. 

“Can you imagine being the spouse of a downed officer and instead of finding out through the proper notifications within the department, you find out from a live streamed video that’s been shared thousands of times already, of your spouse lying for dead?”

The newspaper that originally published the live stream of the officer’s death apologized on Monday, but their note to the public left a lot to be desired.

It basically said that it was poor judgement in an effort to inform the public about what was going on. But in reality, we all know it was simply a quest for views.

We can, and need to do better.


“It’s disturbing how many spouses I have met, in the last two years alone, that have learned of their husband’s deaths from Facebook. Heartbreaking.”

Houston Gass sat down with Deputy Ladwig to talk about his story of survival.

You can watch the full piece here.


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