1907 – Preston Van Buren Swanguen – Constable / Riverside County

Constable Preston V. Swanguen. According to published accounts, the report of a ruckus on December 24, 1907, brought Constable Swanguen from the holiday dinner he was hosting at his home to a crowded pool hall in Temecula.

A popular figure who knew just about everyone in the small town, Swanguen left his weapon at home and walked the short distance to the hall. No doubt a word or two from the local lawman would be enough to calm the boys down, especially on a holiday evening.

Earlier that night, Joe Winkels, who owned the establishment, had thrown Horace Magee out of the business. Magee was known to have a violent temper when drinking and he, and many others, had started downing “red whiskey” earlier in the evening.

Winkels had been taunting Magee, calling him a half-wit, because he was half-Indian. When Magee got mad, Winkels had him tossed out and threatened to beat Magee if he came back.
About 8:30 p.m. Magee returned – this time with a gun. Words were exchanged and threats were made, but Swanguen’s entrance seemed to calm the situation.

Magee walked toward the lawman, his hand extended in friendship. Swanguen either didn’t see the gesture or chose to ignore it. The constable did finally turn to take Magee’s hand. However, Magee had already pulled out his gun and opened fire. Two shots hit Swanguen square in the chest, killing him instantly.
Louis Escallier, one of Temecula’s leading businessmen, grabbed at the gunman. Magee fired three more shots, killing Escallier.

In the panic that followed, Magee ran out of the bar. A mob gave chase and caught the gunman, clubbing him over the head with a pool cue.

Magee was tried and convicted for the death of the lawman and the businessman in a Riverside court and sentenced to life in prison at San Quentin. He spent 12 years there before being paroled.

The slain men were buried at the Temecula Cemetery.

February 5, 1863 – December 24, 1907

2013 – Gilbert Cortez – Officer – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Officer Gilbert Cortez and K9 Mattie were killed in an automobile accident Route 79, near San Felipe Road, in San Diego County.

Officer Cortez was part of a convoy of state corrections K9 officers who were en route to inspect the La Cima Fire Camp in a rural part of the county. His marked vehicle veered off the roadway and overturned, killing K9 Mattie. Officer Cortez was transported to a local fire station, but died before a helicopter could reach him.

Officer Cortez had served with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for 23 years and was assigned to the Southern Regional K-9 Unit. He is survived by his wife, two children, and parents.

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 46

Tour: 23 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Automobile accident

2013 – Michael D. Crain – Officer – Riverside Police Department

Police Officer Michael Crain was shot and killed when he and his partner were ambushed as they were stopped at a red light at the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and Arlington Avenue at about 1:30 am. A subject opened fire on their patrol car, fatally wounding Officer Crain and severely wounding his partner.

The officers were ambushed by an ex-Los Angeles Police Department officer who had been fired in 2008. Several days earlier the subject had murdered Public Safety Officer Keith Lawrence, of the University of Southern California Department of Public Safety, and his fiancee. His fiancee was the daughter of an LAPD captain who had been involved in the personnel review that led to his firing. It is believed that the subject had researched Officer Lawrence’s background as a law enforcement officer prior to ambushing and murdering them. The subject then posted an online manifesto admitting to the murders and stated he would seek revenge on other officials involved with his personnel review and dismissal from the department.

Shortly before Officer Crain and his partner were shot, the subject shot and wounded an LAPD officer in Corona who was on a protective detail as a result of the threats made by the subject.

On Tuesday, February 12th, 2013, the subject was located in San Bernardino County by game wardens with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. After a shootout the subject fled to a nearby cabin and became engaged in a prolonged shootout with members of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. Detective Jeremiah MacKay was fatally wounded and another was seriously wounded.

The subject committed suicide after the cabin he was barricaded in became engulfed in flames.

Officer Crain was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the Riverside Police Department for 11 years. He is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.

Bio & Incident Details:

Age: 34

Tour: 11 years

Badge #1226

Military veteran

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Committed suicide

2009 – Trena Renee McLaughlin – Supervisory Agent – United States Border Patrol

Supervisory Agent Rena R. McLaughlin

Biographical Info:

Born: Unknown
Age: 59
Tour of Duty: 18 years

Badge Number:  Unknown

Incident Details:Cause of Death: Toxin Exposure (Needle Stick During Search)
Date of Incident: July 14, 1994
Weapon Used: None.
Suspect Info: Not available

Supervisory Agent Trena R. Mc Laughlin died as the result of Hepatitis C, which she had contracted after being stuck by a syringe while searching a vehicle.

On July 14, 1994, she was searching a vehicle at the United States Border Patrol’s Temecula Station in Riverside County, California, when her hand came in contact with a hidden syringe and was exposed. She later tested positive for Hepatitis C in 1998, and medically retired from the Border Patrol in 2002. She died as a result of this disease on September 14, 2009.

Agent McLaughlin had served with the United States Border Patrol for 18 years. She was 59 years old.

Agent McLaughlin was added to the downtown Riverside “Safe In His Arms” Memorial in 2012.

2007 – Manuel Villegas – Deputy – Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

Deputy Manuel Villegas

During the early morning hours of Monday, March 19th, 2007, Deputy Manuel ‘Manny’ Villegas was working the unincorporated, agricultural communities of Thermal and Mecca, in the area of Pierce Street and Avenue 63. He was en route to back-up a fellow deputy when another driver traveling in the opposite direction veered into Manny’s path and both drivers were killed.
Though he was only 33 years old at the time of his death, Manny had lived the life many men strive for, but fall short of. He was a husband, a father, a decorated combat veteran, a friend and valued beat partner.
Manny served his country in both the United States Marine Corps as an infantryman with the First Marine Division and later as a member of the US Army’s elite Special Forces. It was as a Green Beret where Manny served in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan during the War on Terror and his exploits on the battlefield earned him the Bronze Star with Combat ‘V’.
Manny brought his quiet leadership, keen sense of humor and esprit de corps to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in November of 2005. He attended the Sheriff’s Basic Academy where he graduated first in his class, was awarded the California Academy Directors Association Award for being the most inspirational student to his classmates and instructors. Along the way he set the Academy record for the mile and a half run, with a scorching time of 8:01.
Manny reported to the Indio Sheriff’s Station in May 2006 and this quiet, unassuming man quickly became a favorite among his peers, his supervisors and the public he served. It wasn’t until Manny’s death that his co-workers learned of his battlefield commendations and his certification as one of the Army’s elite parachutists.
Deputy Manuel Villegas was buried with full military honors in Bakersfield, California. He is survived by his wife Xochitl and his four children, daughter Stacie Lee and sons Ezequiel, Israel and Xavier.