California Highway Patrol Officer Thomas Joel Steiner was murdered, killed in the line of duty April 24, 2004.
Officer Thomas Steiner was shot and killed while standing in front of the Pomona Courthouse after testifying in five traffic citation related cases.
Officer Steiner was shot three times, including once in the head, in an unprovoked attack by a 16 year old suspect intent on killing a police officer. Officer Steiner was walking across the street in front of the courthouse and paused to stop for traffic. As he stood in the street the suspect drove by and opened fire at Officer Steiner, striking him numerous times.
Officer Steiner was transported to a local hospital where he died five hours later.
The killer was apprehended several hours later by members of the Pomona Police Department. He was charged with murder. He later pled guilty and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
It was later discovered that the suspect shot Officer Steiner in an attempt to gain the respect of members of a Los Angeles gang he was attempting to join. Fifty seven members of that gang were arrested after a year long investigation and charged with conspiracy in relation to the murder of Officer Steiner.
Officer Steiner had served with the California Highway Patrol for 5 years, and was assigned to the Santa Fe Springs area.
He is survived by his wife and son and stepson. His wife has requested that all California citizens work to urgently oppose SB 9 that could free her husband’s murderer.