16 Years Ago Today Deputy Richard Herzog Died In Line Of Duty
June 22, 2018
By B. Tanner
CLICK TO ENLARGE. King County Sheriff’s Deputy Rich Herzog who died in the line of duty
Chronicle news & opinion
(KING COUNTY, WA.) – We remember this story as if it happened yesterday. It’s hard to believe sixteen years have passed.
Melinda Irvine, Police Chief of the city of Newcastle writes today online:
“Sixteen years ago today, June 22, 2002, King County Sheriff’s Deputy Rich Herzog died in the line of duty serving the citizens of Newcastle and King County. Too many, at times it still feels like yesterday. Please take a moment to remember Rich and what he stood for in the community.
Rich was a professional officer who cared about the community and made an effort to leave a positive impact on each person he encountered. While sometimes police can be painted with a negative broad brush, remember all the citizens who truly appreciate the work you do and the positive impact you can make one person at a time. Rich’s sacrifice will never be forgotten.”
The last call
It was 5:00 pm today in 2002 that Deputy Herzog was shot and killed with his own service weapon, after responding to a call involving a naked man creating a disturbance in the roadway on Coal Creek Parkway.
When Deputy Herzog, who was wearing a ballistic vest, arrived on scene he tried to subdue the guy with pepper spray. It had zero effect. The man attacked Herzog and during the struggle Herzog’s service weapon, a Glock semi-auto chambered in.40 caliber was knocked to the ground and the ammo magazine popped out of it.
The man he was fighting with picked the gun up, slapped the magazine back in and as Herzog tried to retreat, the guy holding the gun shot him once, knocking him to the ground.
But that wasn't good enough for the gunman. This guy was out to kill. He then stood over the deputy and shot Herzog ten more times before running away to a nearby apartment. He was taken into custody about 45 minutes later.
The man who shot and killed Deputy Herzog had been released from jail only 11 days earlier after serving several months for…...assaulting a police officer.
Police work isn’t always dangerous. Often times it is routine stuff, day after day. Many police officers retire without ever shooting their gun at a bad guy. But when police work gets dangerous, it gets very dangerous very, very fast with the danger level often zooming from zero to extreme within a matter of seconds.
Sixteen years ago today Deputy Herzog was unaware when he responded to that call, it would be his last duty call. These are things we should remember. It is important on many levels to remember. Important not to forget.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer photos of Deputy Herzog’s funeral can be found here .