Los Angeles: Robert Sanchez was an introspective unassuming man who didn’t advertise the ongoing events of his personal life. If one accepted him at face value, then one was depriving themselves the pleasure and fortuity of knowing a loving and giving husband, a fiercely loyal and trusted friend, and a fine officer. He was born September 19, 1981, in Mexico City, an only child, greatly anticipated and wanted by his loving parents, Francisco and Patricia Sanchez. The Sanchez’s moved to Santa Ana, California, where Robert attended Saddleback High School.
An emotional lightning bolt struck Robert while he attended Saddleback for it was there that he met the love of his life Sonia. They went from being high school sweethearts to man and wife. They married June 14, 2008. This June would have been their 6 year wedding anniversary. Sonia’s love for Robert no doubt grew from the affection she had for his many fine characteristics. Chief of among these was his passion to be a helpful person, especially for those in need.
Hence, it’s more than fair to say that Robert becoming an LAPD officer was more of a vocation, that is to say, a calling, than career choice. He joined the academy in August 2008, a service of 5 years and 9 months. In Robert’s estimation, being a police officer was the most honorable way to serve the community. He saw it as taking the blows from the evil few to protect the unwary and the innocent.
Although Robert was an only child, he was not without a brother. This brotherhood came in the form of a friendship born between two rookies. Rich Medina and Robert were assigned to locate witnesses in a Newton neighborhood in the aftermath of a shooting. Rich was six months senior to Robert, and as brothers are apt to do, Rich never let Robert forget it. His catch phrase was that Robert he didn't know as much Rich, but he would understand it all in six months’ time.
Ultimately, Rich and Robert ended up in the Harbor together assigned to the loathed 5Z1car. Chemistry between partners can overcome almost any adversity, thus Rich and Robert learned to love their assignment. They said this more than once; “We just need each other and no one else to handle Z1.” One cannot think of Robert without Rich, and the converse is true as well. Their lives were intertwined on the job and off, as demonstrated by the friendship that the Sanchez’s and Medina’s share. Theirs was a partnership rarely equaled.
Things you may have not have known about our quiet and humble Robert. His favorite hobby was collecting model airplanes. He enjoyed volunteering at his grown niece’s school where she works as a kindergarten teacher. Robert read to her students for “Read Across America.” The thing Robert loved the most was spending time with the family and friends, and joking around. He was always the jokester.
There is a philosophical question that is often asked. When you meet your end, what will be your legacy? Will you be satisfied about the way you lead your life? It is a great testament to Robert that, at such a young age, his legacy is intact. He was a great husband, son, partner, and friend. His loss does not come easy for any of us. We will always remember Robert’s big smile, silly grin, and the way he was devoted to his wife, family, adopted family, friends and the people of Los Angeles. Good-bye Robert, we were humbled and honored to know you.
Officer Sanchez is survived by his beloved wife Sonia Sanchez and loving parents Francisco and Patricia Sanchez.