Officer Kent Hintergardt's Sacrifice Remembered By Loved Ones, Friends

June 25, 2023 0 By JohnValbyNation

TEMECULA, CA — Deputy Kent Hintergardt answered a domestic disturbance call on Mother’s Day, May 9, 1993, 30 years ago. He never returned home.

Hintergardt was 33 years old when he ended his watch with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, leaving behind his wife, Linda, 16-month-old daughter, Marissa, and unborn daughter, Kena.

On the 30th anniversary of his End of Watch, deputies paused to remember his ultimate sacrifice.

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His children are grown now, but his memory remains with them and at a memorial dedicated ten years ago at the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department offices on Auld Road in Murrieta.

He is also memorialized on a stretch of the 15 Freeway and at a park in Temecula bearing his name.

Find out what's happening in Temeculawith free, real-time updates from Patch.

The story of his last call shows an officer who put others before himself.

On the last night of his watch, Hintergardt responded to an apartment complex to investigate the disturbance. As he talked with a man who lived there, he did not know that the woman inside had already been strangled to death.

“Deputy Hintergardt made contact with the boyfriend in the parking lot,” the Sheriff’s Department wrote in a Facebook post. “An altercation ensued, and Deputy Hintergardt was shot.⁣⁣”The man who killed him died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to reports.

Linda Hintergardt told those at the dedication of his memorial that she clearly remembered the night he died when “four people knocked on her door.”

“They gave me the news that absolutely broke my heart,” she said with her daughters by her side. “My heart actually broke three times—one for my loss, but two more times for my girls.

“Marissa was only one and Kena hadn’t been born yet. I was sad that Marissa was so young that she wouldn’t have memories of this man who just loved her so much and for Kena I knew she would never get to meet Kent.”

Both daughters described growing up without their father as “difficult.”

Over the years, many who knew and loved Hintergardt have left messages in his honor, from his sheriff’s department brothers and sisters, and family to his daughter, who never met him.

His youngest daughter Kena is now almost 30 years old.

She has answered numerous messages on his End of Watch Page, the last in 2011. Patch has reached out to her on this anniversary, but these are her most recent words about her father.

“Although I never personally met my dad, it is nice to hear about him and learn more about the man he was,” she wrote. “I feel like every time I read anyone’s story, it gives me insight to his life. That is something that I definitely wish I could have experienced being with him.”


Recalling a Fallen Deputy—and a Wife’s ‘Three Times’ Broken Heart

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