On May 29, 2003, Deputy Sheriff Josh Lancaster was killed in the line of duty during a vehicle pursuit. A suspect was evading Sanger Police Officers when he crashed into Josh’s unmarked detective car. The crash happened in southeastern Fresno County - the area of Adams and Maple. The suspect’s fleeing car was traveling in excess of 90 miles an hour when it struck Josh’s unmarked patrol vehicle.
The suspect’s girlfriend was a passenger in the car and died, along with the unborn child she was carrying. The suspect survived and was sentenced to State Prison.
At the time he was fatally injured, Josh had been working a night time burglary series. The evening Josh was killed, he along with other detectives, were searching for a suspect nicknamed the “DC Shoe” burglar. Josh was determined to be part of that team and apprehend this suspect.
Josh was a rising star in the Sheriff’s Office, and became a detective just a few years after he was hired. Josh came to FSO from the District Attorney’s Office a couple years before his death. Josh was diligent in his work, and loved to “catch a crook.” Many of those who worked around Josh will always remember his sense of humor, his drive for life, and just how great of a person he was. Josh was just a fun guy to be around.
Today, as co-workers, we keep Josh in our hearts and prayers. We keep Josh’s family in our thoughts as well. We are grateful for the memories we have of Josh, and the memories his family has shared with us about him.
We miss Josh and will never forget the service he gave to the citizens of this County.