California Highway Patrol Officer Killed in Las Vegas Carjacking Was Groom-to-Be

The officer and a friend tried to stop an alleged carjacker from stealing his truck on the Vegas Strip

By Jason Kandel
|  Monday, Aug 19, 2013  |  Updated 4:34 PM CDT
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Chase Through Valley Reaches 100 mph

Jesus M. Magdaleno

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A CHP officer set to get married next month was killed when he and a friend were thrown from his pickup truck in a brazen carjacking on the Las Vegas Strip, officials said.

California Highway Patrol Officer Jesus Manuel Magdaleno Jr., an 8-year veteran of the force who worked out of the Central California city of Visalia, died before noon Sunday, police said. He was 33.

James Robert Montgomery, 29, of Tustin was jailed in connection with the death, Las Vegas Metropolitan police Lt. Ray Steiber told the Associated Press.

Magdaleno was killed while he and his friend tried to stop a man from stealing his pickup truck at a valet stand on the Vegas Strip. The two were trying to stop the theft when they were thrown out of the bed of the pickup when it crashed. Magdaleno died at the scene. His friend, Felix Brandon Cruz, was hospitalized with a critical head injury.

The two were loading luggage into the pickup at the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino when a man jumped into the driver's seat, The Fresno Bee reported.

Scott Harris, a CHP spokesman, said in a press statement that Magdaleno was in Vegas for his bachelor’s party and planned to get married in September.

Magdaleno most recently worked out of the CHP’s office in Visalia, about 230 miles southeast of San Francisco.

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