Officer Charles D. Heim
Officer Charles B. Heim died at the age of 33 responding to a traffic stop drug deal tip with his partner Felix Pena while on temporary assignment to LAPD’s Hollywood Division. They arrived at Dunes Motel, and when the suspect’s girlfriend opened the door, Heim was shot twice in the upper body and Pena wounded in one hand.
A SWAT team was called in for backup. Gang member Manuel Vargas Perez was wounded during the standoff and died from a self-inflicted gunshot to his head. Heim’s wife Beth was pregnant with the couple’s first child when she received the news. The officer’s death also left Charles Heim II fatherless, a 12-year-old son who lives with Heim’s ex-wife in Kernville.
Charles Heim took pride in joining the LAPD’s mounted unit, which, in 1989, took up the military custom of a riderless horse, with empty boots reversed in the stirrups, to honor a fallen officer. He is remembered as a prankster, an embellisher of stories, and someone who could always be counted on to boost his fellow officers’ morale–”just an ordinary cowboy.”
Tags: fallen officer, Hollywood, LAPD mounted unit, Manuel Vargas Perez, Officer Charles D. Heim, self-inflicted gunshot