On August 11, 1935, chief Fish was shot to death. In an almost western style shoot-out, a hail of bullets overcame the Chief as he encountered two burglars fleeing from a bush as he responded to a burglar call from a resident. It was a customary practice for the Chief to respond to calls alone and summon for backup as needed. Chief Fish had been the Chief of the North Sacramento Police Department, which later merged with the Sacramento Police Department, for seven years.
Both suspects were convicted of first degree murder in October of 1936 and sentenced to death. On November 11, 1937, Governor Merriam commutted their sentences to life in San Quentin Prison.