SAN ANTONIO, TX – The manhunt is over in the search for the suspect who police say murdered an off-duty officer at an IHOP early Saturday morning.
Less than 12 hours after police say he ran over and killed the officer at the IHOP off Hot Wells Boulevard, 23-year-old Jorge Lopez has been arrested.
San Antonio ISD is deeply saddened to learn of the death of our Detective Cliff Martinez early this morning, while working off-duty at an I-HOP. He was a highly-respected member of the SAISD Police Department, who worked for the department for 28 years. He will be greatly missed.
— SAISD (@SAISD) December 21, 2019
According to police, a fight broke out between two men inside of the IHOP restaurant just after 3:00 a.m.
Martinez was off-duty, but had accepted a role providing security to the establishment while not working at the school.
He attempted to break up the fight between the two patrons there, and managed to get the suspects out of the restaurant where the fight then continued and transitioned into the parking lot.
During the fray that was playing outside the eatery, Martinez was assaulted by one of the combatants involved.
Police said he was lying on the ground wounded, then the suspects jumped into a car and ran him over, escaping in the process.
When San Antonio Police Department officers arrived on the scene, Martinez was motionless on the ground; when paramedics had arrived, they announced him dead.
“He was doing his due diligence and unfortunately, it cost him his life,” Officer Doug Green said after arresting Lopez.
According to Officer Green, Lopez took off on foot after killing Martinez. Thanks to witnesses at the scene, they were able to point police in the right direction.
“This was a case where people were anxious to provide officers with information when we arrived there and that led to the arrest of this suspect,” Officer Green said.
According to police, Detective Martinez was wearing his radio at the time of the attack and even called in for help.
Lopez was marched in front of the media, where he said he was “sorry” while shaking his head.
Detective Martinez had an amazingly long career in law enforcement, being reported as a 28-year veteran. Sadly, the San Antonio Independent School District confirmed that the school resource officer was the man found dead outside in an IHOP parking lot in the 1000 block off Hot Wells Road.
The San Antonio Independent School District released a statement after the announcement of Martinez’s passing, mourning the loss of the officer:
“SAISD is deeply saddened to learn of the death of our Detective Cliff Martinez early this morning while working off-duty at an I-HOP. He was a highly-respected member of the SAISD Police Department, who worked for the department for 28 years. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
The statement released by SAISD prompted heartfelt responses from those who knew Martinez personally.
A local named Xavier Borrego responded to the news posted on Facebook, saying:
“Man I have known Cliff ever since I started with the district. Awesome guy he will be missed. My condolences to his family.”
The post also evoked a response from Anna Leal, an employee of the SAISD who worked with Martinez:
“He was loved by so many at SAISD, just spoke with him last week! I’m shocked. I’ve known him since I was a student at Rogers [Middle School]. Prayers for Cliffs family.”
It isn’t uncommon to see someone with such a lengthy career while also having been a school resource officer have such a tremendous impact on their community. These are exactly the kinds of officers that young children typically first interact with, that help shape the opinion they’ll have as adults about the police and what they do for their community.
Based upon the outpouring of support he’s received by those young and old in the community, he clearly was one of the good ones. While he may be gone, he’ll have a legacy that lives on with the lives he affected within his community.
Last night we reported on two more fallen officers during yet another heartbreaking week.
In Lincolnton, North Carolina, a former Army Ranger turned Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy died while being involved in an off-duty motorcycle crash.
According to the LCSO, Deputy Jamie Lavar Jackson passed away this past Sunday.
The 41-year-old deputy was operating his motorcycle on Wilma Sigmon Road at around 2:50 p.m. when he lost control and smashed into a parked vehicle, the LCSO said in a press release.
He was immediately transported over to Atrium Health Lincoln Hospital where he was ultimately pronounced dead. Deputy Jackson was described as brother and a friend by the Sheriff, Bill Beam.
LCSO Lieutenant Justin Frye spoke with a local news crew, WBTV, about Jackson’s character:
“He was an Army Ranger, so he had been in a lot of action. He was one of those guys you enjoyed having go through the door with you. If business is gonna get handled, he’s gonna handle business.”
Deputy Jackson’s tenure with the LCSO began in May 2013 when, according to his obituary, he started working as a part-time deputy. A month later he began serving as a full-time deputy, and by October of the same year he was a member of the SWAT team.
He was assigned to the narcotics unit of the LCSO in 2014, where he worked until the end of 2016.
At that point, according to his obituary, Deputy Jackson shifted to a part-time position with the LCSO while also working with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. By January of this year, he rejoined the LCSO full-time once again.
Lt. Frye and Deputy Jackson were both on the SWAT team together, and Frye fondly remembers their obvious contrasts that made their working relationship work flawlessly:
“We were kinda like the odd couple, I guess. He’s the big tall black guy. I’m the short little white guy. He’s a Democrat. I was a Republican. He’d give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He was there for his friends. He was loyal. He’s a good cop.”
Deputy Jackson leaves behind his three children, 20-year-old Corey, 16-year-old Jayden, and 11-year-old Ciawa.
According to a fundraising page that was established in the wake of his passing, he was also anticipating a fourth child. According to his obituary, Deputy Jackson will be laid to rest on December 21.
Sadly, just days ago we had lost an amazing individual from the Knott County Sheriff’s Office.
Chief Deputy Bobby Wayne Jacobs had passed away in the line of duty on Monday from a heart attack.
The 47-year-old Chief Deputy from Hazard, Kentucky had returned back to the Sheriff’s Office after dealing with a call when the attack struck him, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
When he collapsed, he was taken to Hazard Appalachian Regional Healthcare, where he was pronounced dead, according to his obituary.
The officer had an amazing career with law enforcement, serving collectively 23 years before his passing.
Just the day prior to his heart attack, Chief Deputy Jacobs responded to a home to help capture a barricaded fugitive who had threatened to kill law enforcement officers, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
The day’s events prior to Chief Deputy Jacobs death weren’t at all surprising to his colleagues, as Knott County Sheriff Dale Richardson described him as the first man to volunteer to venture toward dangerous calls.
Sheriff Richardson continued his sentiments of Chief Deputy Jacobs character and bravery:
“I’ll never forget that about him. We a lot of times deal with a lot of bad situations, tense, and he usually was the one that kinda, I guess, bring us back to reality.”
Sheriff Richardson also reflected at his long career with the department:
“I can remember when he first started, didn’t really think he was old enough to be a deputy he was so young.”
Chief Deputy Jacobs leaves behind his three daughters, Emaleigh, McKenzie, and Lauren, as well as his companion, Carla Barnett, according to his obituary. He is also survived by his brothers, sister, and extended family and friends.
Our hearts go out to Chief Deputy Jacob’s family and friends, along with the family and friends of Deputy Jackson. Rest easy gentlemen, we’ll hold the line from here.
It’s been a painful week in law enforcement.
Sadly, we lost a young correctional sergeant based out of Florida last week due to a drunk driver.
On December 12th, 2019, Florida Department of Corrections Sergeant Lauren Lee was killed in an accident involving an intoxicated driver. The sergeant, who was only 30-years-old at the time of her death, was on her way back home from work when her vehicle was struck.
According to reports from the Florida Highway Patrol, the young correctional sergeant had just completed her shift at the Zephyrhills Correctional Institution and was making her way home, heading down U.S. 301. At roughly 6:27 pm, Lee’s vehicle was struck by nearly head-on by a large truck operated by an intoxicated motorist, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The operator of the truck that took Lee’s life was identified as Jonathan Aldea Valdes, 36.
Valdes is an employee of Megascapes Landscape and Maintenance, and was driving the company’s pest control truck northbound on the same highway. Valdes had apparently lost control of the vehicle and turned onto the right-hand shoulder before overcorrecting his turn.
Investigators say he then found himself driving into oncoming traffic. Valdes’ truck slammed right into Lee’s smaller Honda, destroying the front half of the vehicle. Not long after the impact, Lee died from her injuries at the scene.
The late Sergeant Lauren Lee’s brother, Glenn Lee, spoke with local news outlet WFTS the day following his sister’s death:
“This guy driving a company truck, almost during business hours, and he was drunk and hitting other cars along the way. He was in a moving killing machine. She had no chance, with the size of that truck.”
From what authorities have said, Valdes refused to cooperate with tests pertaining to determining whether alcohol played a part in the crash while at the scene of the accident.
After officers made multiple attempts to administer various field sobriety tests, he became combative with officers during his arrest. He was later transported to the Pasco County jail on charges of DUI property damage and DUI manslaughter.
Prior to her passing, Lee had graduated in 2011 with a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice and then brought her talents to the Zephyrhills Correctional Institution. She had served as a field training officer after having been promoted to the rank of sergeant back in June of 2018. The Florida Department of Corrections also noted that she had been recently certified as an officer instructor and offered to instruct advanced courses to better equip staff within the department.
The Florida Department of Corrections stated the following about Lee’s impact within the department:
“Correctional Sgt. Lauren Lee was a loved member of the Zephyrhills Correctional Institution team and will be greatly missed. We ask that you keep her family and the staff of Zephyrhills in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
American professional wrestler Aerial Hull, better known as ‘Big Swole’ when in the ring, posted the following on Twitter regarding the loss of Sergeant Lee:
“On Thursday I lost my friend to a drunk driver. Please don’t drink and drive…uber, Lyft, taxi, sleep, anything else but getting behind the wheel. Also if you see something report it, please…you can save a life. Rest Easy Lauren Lee, until we meet again boo!”
On Thursday I lost my friend to a drunk driver. Please don't drink and drive…uber, Lyft, taxi, sleep, anything else but getting behind the wheel. Also if you see something report it, please…you can save a life.
Rest Easy Lauren Lee, until we meet again boo! 🤎
— Big Swole 💪🏾 (@SwoleWorld) December 14, 2019
The young sergeant had a while life ahead of her when it was recklessly robbed from her due to the selfish act of driving while intoxicated. Our hearts go out to her family and loved ones and also to the staff at the Florida Department of Corrections, as she lived a life of pursuing goals and helping others.
Rest In Peace to my former teammate Lauren Lee #20 💛💚 pic.twitter.com/VELwfLNP5Q
— Jamarra Robinson (@COACHROBINSONJ) December 13, 2019
Meanwhile, officials are also investigating the details behind a suspicious death of a Maryland officer.
Today, we mourn the loss of Sgt. Anthony Oglesby Jr. of Bowie, Maryland.
Oglesby was killed in a bizarre single car wreck overnight Wednesday. Here’s what happened.
Maryland State Police say around 2:30 a.m., troopers from the LaPlata Barrack responded to the area of southbound Maryland Rt. 224 Chicamuxen Road and Sweden Point Road in Indian Head for a report of a vehicle that ran off the road.
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That’s where they found Oglesby dead. They said he was driving a 2015 Ford Taurus, when for unknown reasons, he drove off the right side of the road and struck a tree.
They said the tree fell on top of the vehicle, which then caught fire. Oglesby, who was a sergeant for the U.S. Navy Police, was declared dead at the scene.
Investigators said Oglesby was on duty and driving a marked patrol car at the time of the crash, and that nobody else was in the vehicle.
His body was brought to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.
The Charles County Sheriff’s Office and the Maryland State Police Forestville Barrack closed the intersection for about four hours while they investigated.
It’s been a difficult week in the Blue family. He’s not the first officer we lost in the past few days.
Greenwich Police Officer Justin Quagliani died unexpectedly Tuesday morning. Greenwich Police Chief James Heavey shared news of his sudden passing, saying the cause of death hasn’t been determined yet.
First Selectman Fred Camillo has asked that town flags be flown at half-staff in his honor.
“During the four years he has served the Greenwich Police Department, Officer Justin Quagliani continuously demonstrated that he possessed the qualities and the abilities to be an asset not only to the Department but to the entire Greenwich community, ” Camillo said.
He put out a statement Tuesday afternoon.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his police brothers and sisters who mourn his sudden passing.”
Heavey said that Quagliani “suffered a medical emergency” at his Greenwich residence around 5 a.m. while off-duty.
“Police and Greenwich Emergency Medical Service (GEMS) personnel responded to his residence, attempted lifesaving efforts and then transported him to Greenwich Hospital, where he was eventually declared deceased,” Heavey said in a statement. “The cause of death has not been determined, but there is no sign of foul play.”
The department is asking people to pray for the family.
“We wish to extend our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Justin and ask the public for its support during this difficult time,” Heavey said. “There is no further information available at this time.”
A few months back, Quagliani was given a letter of recognition from Capt. Kraig Gray for performing CPR during a medical call on Jan. 25, 2019.
Quagliani had arrived on the scene and found the woman was having a syncopal episode. During the presentation, the captain said his “quick intervention” aided the patient until the Greenwich Emergency Medical Service (GEMS) arrived and took over care.
“The highest calling of a police officer is to preserve life; your efforts are a true testament to your dedication to this principal,” states the Letter of Recognition.
“On behalf of the patient, her family, and the Greenwich Community, thank you for a job well done.”
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