Deputy Dirk Alan Leonardson
Tour of Duty: 2 years
Badge Number: 156
Cause of Death: Gunfire (Accidental – Friendly Fire)
Date of Incident: October 4, 1980
Weapon Used: Handgun – shot by another officer
Suspect Info: N/A
Deputy Dirk Leonardson was employed with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for two years. He was hired on August 29, 1978. He was assigned to the Blythe Station. In 1979, he transferred to the Blythe Jail and a year later he transferred back to the Blythe Station. Deputy Leonardson attended the Sheriff’s 73rd Basic Academy in the fall od 1978. He did not work for another law enforcement agency prior to his employment with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
On October 4, 1989, Deputy Leonardson was at home (Indio) during his off-duty time. At approximately 2:15 am, he heard a disturbance outside his apartment. There had been incidents of vandalism in the parking lot area near Leonardson’s apartment complex. Deputy Leonardson had armed himself with his duty weapon and went outside to investigate the disturbance. While outside, he was mistaken for a criminal supect hen a Blythe Police Department officer spotted Leonardson’s handgun. The parking area was dimly lit and upon seeing the weapon in Deputy Leonardson’s hand, the Blythe officer shot and killed the off-duty deputy. Deputy Leonardson was survived by his wife. They did not have children. He was also survived by his parents, one brother and two sisters. Deputy Dirk Leonardson was born in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
Deputy Leonardson’s burial site is not known.