Officer Ricardo Lizarraga was murdered in the line of duty on February 20, 2004. Officer Lizarraga became the 195th LAPD officer to die in the line of duty since 1907, the first to be murdered on-duty since 1998 and the first in Newton Area since 1945.
Officer Lizarraga joined the LAPD on September 25, 2001 and graduated from the Los Angeles Police Academy in April 2002. He worked patrol assignments in the 77th Street Area and one year later transferred to the Newton Area. He chose Newton because there he could use his fluent Spanish in the community. He felt it was a great privilege to be working a Z-Car Unit.
Officer Ricardo Lizarraga was born on January 24, 1973 in Los Angeles, California, as the eldest son of Candolario and Cristina. He has a younger brother and two sisters. As a child, he was a "happy" little boy, picking up everything in sight and putting it in his mouth. Richardo played sports at Hamilton High School where he excelled in baseball and loved to play football. Although he was the biggest kid around, he hated fighting.
He worked for Hughes Market for approximately 10 years as a clerk. Ricardo met his wife Joyce there, and they eventually married. Ricardo and Joyce enjoyed traveling. He would go to mom's for breakfast in the morning even after he got married.
Ricardo was quite an athlete. He was excited about being on the LAPD football team - recently boasting about having bars on his nose from being driven into the ground face first. He also enjoyed football and pick-up games of basketball at the park or with his young cousins who loved to challenge him. Whenever he had a chance, he went golfing or running.
Ricardo was a very thoughtful son. He always told his mom - "whatever you want, mom" and got it for her. To all of us, Ricardo was the "gentle giant" that we all love and miss dearly.
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