On March 26, 1997, Training Officer Victor Baca and Officer DeHerrera were responding in their patrol vehicle to a call of suspicious activity in a parking lot. DeHerrera had just graduated from the Denver Police Academy and was on his second day of patrol. They were on Federal Boulevard at 19th Avenue when a car ran a stop sign and struck the passenger side of the patrol vehicle. The car had been stolen and was driven by 17 year old Gil Webb, who was traveling between 65 and 80 miles per hour when he struck the police car. The patrol car hit the curb and then struck a tree.
Baca received minor injuries and was released from the hospital later that day. Webb was hospitalized with a broken neck. DeHerrera was rushed to the hospital, and after a six-day battle, succumbed to his injuries on April 1, 1997. Webb was charged and found guilty of vehicular homicide, aggravated assault and auto theft.