Eleven years after a Saugus resident and deputy for the Temple Sheriff’s Station was shot and killed while making a traffic stop, officers continue their yearly tradition of a 24-hour vigil.
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Deputy David March stopped a vehicle driven by Armando “Chato” Garcia, of Mexico, in Irwindale at 10:30 a.m. April 29, 2002.
During the traffic stop, Garcia shot March and fled to Mexico shortly afterward.
“Each year at the site where the incident occurred, we have a 24-hour vigil where two deputies stand guard over the area,” said Sgt. John Carter. “And that started at midnight this morning, and it’ll continue until midnight tonight.”
Carter was stationed at Temple then, and remembers working alongside March. He’s still stationed there and, on Monday, was serving as watch commander at the station.
“Basically, they stand watch over his memorial where the shooting occurred,” Carter said. “He was a great guy a great deputy, and we all miss him.”
Deputies at the Temple station also where their long-sleeve class-A, formal uniform in remembrance, Carter said.
On Feb. 23, 2006, Garcia was arrested in Mexico by U.S. Marshals and Mexican federal agents following a joint investigation.
Garcia was extradited back to California, and on March 2, 2007, he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He is still serving time in a state prison.
March had served with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for 7 years. He is survived by his wife, Teri, and a stepdaughter.
David March’s father, John March, still works with the Sheriff’s Department as director of operations for the Sheriff’s Youth Foundation.
The Sheriff’s Youth Foundation conducts several outreach programs in the Santa Clarita Valley out of its Val Verde facility.
Here’s an interview with John and his wife, Barbara March, conducted two years after the murder.
Here’s an interview with Teri March, his wife, that took place around the same time.
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Saugus Deputy Killed In Line Of Duty Remembered By Officers