On August 30, 2017, at approximately 12:00 PM, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert French patrolled the North Division of Sacramento County. He responded to a radio call for help from other officers doing a probation search of a hotel room at the Ramada Inn on Auburn Boulevard. Before his arrival, the suspect had already shot two California Highway Patrol Officers.
After shooting the CHP officers, the suspect emerged onto the balcony and began engaging a deputy positioned at the rear of the motel room in gunfire. The deputy exchanged gunfire with the suspect multiple times. Despite efforts to keep the suspect contained, the suspect leaped from the balcony and fled around the building toward the front parking lot.
Upon his arrival, Deputy French retrieved his rifle from the rack of his patrol vehicle, took cover behind his vehicle, and attempted to acquire the suspect. The suspect took notice of Deputy French’s arrival and began to fire his rifle toward Deputy French’s vehicle from across the parking lot. As Deputy French was being fired upon, he attempted to safely engage the suspect in gunfire. While doing so, Deputy French was struck by a round fired from the suspect’s rifle after the bullet passed through a portion of Deputy French’s patrol vehicle. The round entered through the top of Deputy French’s shoulder, missing his body armor and passing through his heart, mortally wounding him.
Despite being mortally wounded, Deputy French remained vigilant. As the suspect began driving toward Deputy French’s position, Deputy French emerged from behind cover and engaged the suspect with gunfire upon having a safe backdrop to do so in an effort to stop the suspect from fleeing and causing more harm to the community.
The suspect exited the hotel parking lot and led responding deputies on a vehicle pursuit through a nearby business district and residential neighborhoods. The suspect was stopped during this pursuit, taken into custody, and transported to a local hospital, where he later died.
During the entire gun battle, the suspect fired approximately thirty-four rounds from his AK-47 rifle and approximately nine rounds from his handgun. An AK-47 rifle, two handguns, and a live hand grenade were recovered from the suspect’s vehicle. A subsequent search of the motel room revealed methamphetamine and an additional handgun.
California Peace Officer Memorial Foundation Monument
Bobby’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 Bobby French can be seen at the Sacramento Police & Sheriff Memorial 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. It is updated every Spring in anticipation of National Police Week. Bobby French’s name can be seen on memorial panel 2-W: 31.
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 has a dedicated rose bush and memorial plaque.
Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center
A memorial wall in the administrative area of the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center bears a plaque honoring Bobby.
Patriot Park Wall of Honor
Patriot Park, located at 6827 Palm Avenue in Fair Oaks, has a Wall of Honor in the back area of the park. Bobby French is one of several DSA members featured on this wall- the others are Kevin Blount, Joseph Kievernagel, and Danny Oliver. The park administration also conducts an annual remembrance ceremony to honor those whose names are on the wall.
Cabana Park Tribute
There is a pillar-style monument dedicated to Bobby at Cabana Park, located at 6251 Fremont Circle in Sacramento.
Highway 50 Memorial Highway Sign
Memorial Highway signs dedicated to Bobby are located on Highway 50 in both East and Westbound directions. The signs sit just before the El Dorado Hills welcome monument along eastbound Highway 50 and slightly east of the El Dorado Hills Boulevard freeway ramp onto westbound Highway 50.
Bobby French was laid to rest in Section 4 of the Cypress Area at Lakeside Memorial Lawn, located at 1201 Forrest Street in Folsom. His resting place is behind a tall headstone bearing the “French” name.