April 5 marks 52nd anniversary of the Newhall Incident

Family members of fallen CHP officer Roger Gore take in a new memorial ahead of a ceremony to rededicate a memorial for the four officers who lost their lives in 1970's Newhall Incident at the California Highway Patrol's Newhall offices on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

On April 5, 1970, four California Highway Patrol officers in their early 20s lost their lives in a four-and-a-half-minute gun battle that left families without their husbands and fathers.  

The incident occurred just before midnight on April 5 when Officers Walt Frago and Roger Gore responded to reports of a driver brandishing a gun in his vehicle. The two officers initiated an enforcement stop near the present-day intersection of Magic Mountain Parkway and The Old Road after they located the vehicle.  

The officers found two passengers, a gun battle ensued, and Frago and Gore died at the scene. Officers James Pence and George Alleyn responded after Frago and Gore, and on arrival, they were immediately fired upon by both suspects, according to CHP records of the event.   

All four officers were killed in less than five minutes by the gunmen, who were later identified as Jack Twinning and Bobby Davis. The gunmen fled from the scene and it took nine hours before law enforcement officers were able to find them in the area.  

Twinning killed himself after officers cornered him in a home that he had entered to hold a man hostage, and Davis was captured, stood trial and convicted on four counts of murder.  

Davis served a life-in-prison sentence and died in 2009 at the Kern Valley Prison.   

The Newhall Incident deeply affected the law enforcement community, and as a result, new procedures were set in place to train and better prepare officers during high-risk and felony stops. 

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS