The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on Wednesday honored the memory of Deputy David March, who died in the line of duty 18 years ago.
On April 29, 2002, March, a deputy with the Temple Sheriff’s Station but a Santa Clarita resident who was scheduled to transfer to the SCV Sheriff’s Station, was conducting a traffic stop near Live Oak Avenue and Peck Road in Irwindale.
The driver of the vehicle got out of his car and started a fight with March. The suspect then pulled a handgun on the deputy and opened fire, striking March several times in the upper chest.
March was pronounced dead on the scene.
“Deputy David March was scheduled to transfer to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and begin serving our community,” said a SCV Sheriff’s Station social media post commemorating the anniversary of his death on Wednesday. “His untimely death was felt by many Santa Clarita Valley residents as he resided in Santa Clarita with his family and was well-known and respected in the community.”
The suspect, Jorge “Armando” Arroyo Garcia, now 43, was identified shortly after the shooting but fled to Mexico for the next four years. On Feb. 23, 2006, the suspect, a suspected gang member and illegal immigrant, was arrested in Mexico by U.S. Marshals and Mexican federal agents following a joint investigation.
He was extradited to California, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Before his death, March wrote a statement that eventually became the creed for the entire Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department: “My goals are simple, I will always be painfully honest, work as hard as I can, learn as much as I can and hopefully make a difference in people’s lives.”