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"Officer Down"

Assault Weapons and the War on Law Enforcement

Section Three: Selected Incidents of Law Enforcement Officers Killed in the Line of Duty by Assault Weapons, 1998 Through 2001

Date: June 12, 1999

Location: Orange County, California

Assault Weapon: MAK-90 or SA85 7.62mm rifle

On June 12, 1999, Sheriff's Deputy Brad Riches was killed with a MAK-90 or SA85 7.62mm rifle. Deputy Riches was sitting in his patrol car outside a 7-Eleven when his police cruiser was riddled with assault weapon fire. The 7-Eleven clerk said that a customer told him he was carrying an AK-47-style assault rifle to shoot a police officer. Maurice Steksal was convicted on November 19, 2002 of the first-degree murder of Deputy Riches.

Jack Leonard, "Thousands Pay Last Respects to Slain Deputy," Los Angeles Times, June 17, 1999; Greg Hardesty, "Laborer Guilty of Deputy's Murder," Orange County Register, November 20, 2002.


Each weapon shown is representative of the brand or model of assault weapon and is not a picture of the specific weapon used in the shooting described in the narrative.

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  All contents � 2003 Violence Policy Center


The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals. The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related death and injury.