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R.I.P. Jake Kuredjian, E.O.W. Aug. 31, 2001

Posted: August 31, 2009 8:20 p.m.
Updated: August 31, 2009 8:20 p.m.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Hagop "Jake" Kuredjian was killed in the line of duty eight years ago on Aug. 31, 2001.

Kuredjian was a 17-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department who was killed by James Allen Beck outside Beck's Stevenson Ranch home as federal agents served a search warrant Aug. 31, 2001.

Kuredjian arrived at the Beck's Brooks Circle home between 8:30 and 8:55 a.m. on Aug. 31, 2001. Federal agents from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were serving a search warrant on suspicion that Beck was stock piling weapons. He was also suspected of impersonating a U. S. Marshall.

Beck kept law enforcement officers at bay with a bevy of shots fired from his home. Beck fired a total of 150 shots. Kuredjian crouched behind a red sports utility vehicle for safety as Beck sprayed the street with bullets.

When Kuredjian stood up he was shot in the head, according to reports in The Signal.

The slaying shocked the Santa Clarita Valley and the community mourned for days. Flowers, cards, teddy bears and balloons streamed into the sheriff's station.

Kuredjian was laid to rest on Sept. 5, 2001. More than 5,000 people attended the funeral services including then-Governor Gray Davis and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca.

Davis offered his condolences to Kuredjian's family and handed them a folded American flag.

Baca choked back tears as he spoke about Kuredjian's bravery and service.

Estelle Foley, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station's longtime historian, and station Deputy Mike Chinery (now stationed in Van Nuys) came up with the idea for a memorial garden as a way to honor Deputy Kuredjian as well as Deputy Arthur Pelino, the first Santa Clarita Valley deputy to be killed in the line of duty, on March 19, 1978.

The station dedicated the garden one year after Kuredjian's death.

"There are 17 rose bushes, representing the years Jake was in law enforcement," Foley said in a recent interview. "And the garden has grown over the years - everyone would bring plants and help make it more beautiful. To me, that's the most wonderful part. Every year we think of something new and do it."



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