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News Release

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Media Relations

Devonshire Area Memorial Service NA14020rf

Event Honors 20th Anniversary of Officer Killed in the Line of Duty and Other Slain Officers

What:       
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Devonshire Area Memorial Service

When:       
Saturday, February 22, 2014
11 a.m.

Where:   
LAPD Devonshire Station
10250 Etiwanda Avenue
Northridge 91325

Who:       
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck
LAPD Assistant Chief Sandy Jo MacArthur, Director, Office of Administrative Services
LAPD Captain III Kris Pitcher, Commanding Officer, Devonshire Area
Kelly Waiss, daughter of slain LAPD Officer Christy Lynne Hamilton
LAPD Command Staff, family, friends, classmates, and coworkers of Officer Hamilton and    
other slain officers: Officer Ronald Ball, Officer Paul Verna, Officer Slatko Nick Sintic, and Officer Spree Desha.
         
Why:   
To mark the 20th anniversary of the death of Police Officer Christy Lynne Hamilton who was killed in the line of duty while assigned to Devonshire Area.  On this date, the LAPD will pay tribute to the officers from the Devonshire Area family who have been killed in the line of duty and recognize their sacrifices and those of their surviving family members.

Details:   
On February 22, 1994, Officer Hamilton was called to a home where a domestic disturbance was occurring.  At the home, a juvenile suspect had just shot and killed his father.  Upon arrival at the scene, suspects ambushed Officer Hamilton and other responding officers as they exited their vehicles.  Officer Hamilton was injured when one round entered under her vest causing extensive injuries.  She was then transported to a local hospital where she died.  Officer Hamilton was the second female LAPD officer killed in the line of duty.  Her death came one month after she graduated from the LAPD Police Academy.

On February 8, 1986, Officer Ball, a member of the LAPD Bomb Squad, was called to a home that was being searched by officers in connection with a shooting.  Upon arrival at the scene, Officer Ball and his partner, Detective Arleigh McCree, were directed to two pipe bombs in a garage where they examined the devices, determined that they were booby trapped and moved other officers away from the scene.  As the officers attempted to defuse the bombs, they detonated, instantly killing Detective McCree and fatally wounding Officer Ball who died at a local hospital several hours later.  Prior to his assignment to the Bomb Squad, Officer Ball was assigned to Devonshire Area.

On June 2, 1983, Officer Verna, from LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division (VTD), conducted a traffic stop in Lake View Terrace of a vehicle containing two armed robbery suspects.  One of the suspects shot Officer Verna once and then passed the revolver to the second suspect who shot him five more times.  Both suspects were ex-convicts who were on parole.  The suspects were apprehended and sentenced to death.  Officer Verna had been awarded the Department’s Medal of Valor for an incident in December 1981 when he crawled into a burning home in an attempt to save two mentally handicapped children.  Officer Verna’s record of service also included the Los Angeles Fire Department and the United States Air Force. Prior to his VTD assignment, Officer Verna was assigned to Devonshire Area.

On February 12, 1976, Officer Slatko Nick Sintic, from LAPD’s Devonshire Area, was called to a fast food restaurant in a Northridge shopping center to answer a silent alarm.  Upon arrival at the scene, as Officer Sintic and other responding officers approached the restaurant, Officer Sintic was shot and killed.   The gunman held an employee hostage for more than five hours before taking his own life.  Officer Sintic was a United States Air Force veteran and served in the LAPD for nine years.

On September 12, 2008, Officer Spree Desha was killed in the collision of a Metro Link commuter train and a Union Pacific Railroad freight train.  Following a practice for off- duty officers riding on trains, Officer Desha was in uniform and in the first passenger car when the accident occurred.  She and 24 other passengers were killed in the collision. Over 180 other passengers were seriously injured. A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputy, also seriously injured in the collision, assisted others to escape the wreckage until he collapsed. Officer Desha had served with the LAPD for seven years.

Contact:
For more information, please call LAPD Sergeant Kathlene Matthews at 213-486-0796 or send an email to 30442@lapd.lacity.org.


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