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Julie Cross

Special Agent Julie Cross

On June 4, 1980, Special Agent Cross and her partner were conducting a counterfeit surveillance near the Los Angeles International Airport. Shortly after 9:00 p.m., two unknown males approached the agent’s vehicle from the rear and accosted the agents. Special Agent Cross was shot and killed. The suspects also shot her partner and, believing he was dead, fled the scene. Special Agent Cross, the first female Secret Service agent to be killed in the line of duty, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Julie Yvonne Cross began her law enforcement career with the San Diego Police Department before joining the Secret Service in 1979. Initially assigned to the San Diego Field Office, Cross was transferred to the Los Angeles Field Office on June 1, 1980, where she was assigned to the counterfeit squad.

All evidence suggested that the attack on Special Agent Cross and her partner was an attempted robbery and not connected to the counterfeit investigation in any way. For nine years the suspects remained unknown, despite an enormous effort by a task force of Secret Service agents and members of the Los Angeles Police Department. In 1989, a Los Angeles Police Homicide detective arrested a suspect, Andre Alexander, for a triple murder the year before. Soon after his arrest, he became a prime suspect in the Cross investigation. While in prison for his conviction in the triple murder case, Alexander was overheard speaking about what he did to Special Agent Cross.

Alexander was formally charged with Special Agent Cross’ murder in 1995. At trial, Alexander was found guilty and is now on death row.

The Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service oversees the Julie Yvonne Cross Scholarship which assists women interested in a career in law enforcement. Women in Federal Law Enforcement also honors Julie Cross with an award in her name. This award honors a sworn federal law enforcement officer for an act of exceptional courage or heroism. The individual receiving this award must have displayed an unusual degree of courage, stamina, and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty, resulting in exceptional heroic achievement in the field of law enforcement.

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