January 13, 2013 — The Salt Lake City Police Department today remembers the loss of one its own: Sgt. Ronald L. Heaps, killed in the line of duty January 13, 1982.
Then-Corporal Heaps, 32, was shot and killed while investigating a suspicious person call. At approximately 9:25 p.m., Heaps and two other officers responded to the area of 1300 South 300 East. They contacted the occupants of a motor home, unaware that one of them was wanted for the October 2, 1981, murder of California Highway Patrol Officer John Martinez.
When the officers asked about the ownership of the motor home, the wanted suspect produced a 9mm pistol and began firing. Heaps was struck between the panels of his body armor and died within minutes.
Although wounded, a second officer shot and killed the assailant. Another suspect attempting to flee the area was shot and killed by a third officer.
Heaps was married and the father of four children. Posthumously promoted to Sergeant, he is buried in the Alpine City Cemetery.