At 10:07PM on January 18, 2021, Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies observed a vehicle in a parking lot that matched the description of a vehicle involved in a theft series. Deputies initiated contact with the single occupant of the vehicle who became uncooperative and fled in his vehicle. A pursuit ensued with multiple officers joining, including Sheriff’s Canine Detail Deputy Adam Gibson, in an attempt to stop the suspect. The pursuit entered the Cal Expo Complex and the suspect’s vehicle became disabled after driving over a concrete parking block and hitting a fence.
Deputies gave several commands for the suspect to exit the vehicle but he refused. A sheriff’s canine was deployed into the vehicle and engage the suspect. The suspect fired a gun at the deputies, striking two of them and the canine as they began taking him into custody. Deputies returned fire, fatally wounding the suspect.
Deputy Adam Gibson was transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The second deputy was stabilized and transported to a trauma center for further treatment. Sheriff’s K9, Riley, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Deputy Adam Gibson served in the United States Marine Corps and did two tours in Afghanistan, where was highly decorated for his service to his country. Deputy Gibson was a 6-year veteran of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office and was assigned as a K9 handler for the Central Patrol Division.
California Peace Officer Memorial Foundation Monument
Adam Gibson’s name can be seen on the main monument area (at the base of the standing figures) on the California Peace Officers Memorial Foundation’s bronze monument in downtown Sacramento. His name will be moved to a permanent memorial plaque location when the time comes to cast a new plaque. The monument is located on the West side of 10th Street, between N Street and Capitol Avenue, across the street from the West steps of the Capitol building.
Sacramento Police/ Sheriff Memorial
A bollard dedicated to Adam Gibson was unveiled at the 2022 Annual Remembrance Ceremony. It can be seen at the Sacramento Police & Sheriff Memorial, located at 500 Arden Way in Sacramento.
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, Washington., D.C.
The names of our fallen are engraved and can be seen at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, located at 444 E St. NW in Washington, D.C.. Adam’s name can be seen on the East wall, Panel 15, Row 33.
Academy Rose Garden
The Sacramento Sheriff Office’s Memorial Rose Garden is located on the Academy grounds at 1000 Riverwalk Way in Carmichael. Each of the fallen have a dedicated rose bush and memorial plaque. Adam’s rose dedication ceremony was held in April of 2022.
Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center
A memorial wall in the administrative area of the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center bears a plaque honoring Adam Gibson.
Sadly, K9 Riley also made the ultimate sacrifice during this event. Immediately following this incident, multiple media outlets incorrectly reported that Adam was Riley’s handler. That was not the case; they were both simply on the same call. The DSA is very fond our four-legged members, and honor Riley’s brave, selfless sacrifice.