Colorado Fallen Heroes Biographies

1860-1923

City Marshal Robert A. Clark
Black Hawk Town Marshal


On July 10, 1869, Black Hawk City Marshal Robert A. Clark was killed by Thomas Cranmer while serving an arrest warrant with Constable Peter P. Herbert from Central City. The two lawmen were searching for two brothers, James and Thomas Cranmer, who fled Central City after assaulting a cook. They found the brother's horses and wagon four miles from Black Hawk near Dora's Ranch. They knocked on the door of an apparently abandoned cabin, entered and searched for the two men. Marshal Clark confronted James on the first floor and Constable Herbert discovered Thomas hiding in the loft. Thomas Cranmer told Constable Herbert he would be down in a moment so Herbert descended the stairs only to find James Cranmer attacking Marshal Clark with a club. Thomas Cranmer, who was still in the loft, started shooting through the cracks in the floor at the two lawmen. The first bullet struck Marshal Clark in the head killing him instantly. Constable Herbert returned fire but was shot in the right forearm. Herbert realized Marshal Clark was dead, mounted Clark's horse and returned to town to get help.

Sheriff Grimes of Gilpin County and a posse of men arrived at the cabin only to find Marshal Clark's lifeless body in the cabin. James Cranmer was arrested by a party of wood cutters before he could escape, but Thomas Cranmer escaped on Constable Herbert's horse. Sheriff Grimes watched Cranmer's family home near Valmont for several days but Thomas eluded capture. On July 17, 1869, James H. Cranmer was charged with assault with intent to kill Marshal Clark. Constable Herbert's horse was found on July 29th with the saddle showing some damage and a stirrup missing. It is unknown if Thomas escaped or succumbed to injuries possibly sustained in the shootout. It is not known if James was ever convicted or if Thomas was ever captured or found.

Marshal Clark was born January 11, 1834 in Maryland and moved to Black Hawk in 1860 to work as a miner. In 1863 he began working as a constable in Black Hawk. In 1864 Robert A. Clark was elected as Black Hawk's first City Marshal and was elected every year thereafter. He was survived by his young wife Lucinda and his step daughter Sophia Jenna Dougherty.


Sheriff Jaun C. Tafoya
Las Animas County


On February 6, 1872, three brothers with the last name of Wilson rode into Trinidad from Texas. During their stay in town one of the brothers ended up at the Exchange Saloon for some gambling and drinking. Thinking he had been cheated, he roared out of the saloon yelling that he would be back. While the Wilson brother was gone the barkeep sent for the Sheriff.
Sheriff Tafoya was waiting quietly when the cowboys returned with their guns drawn. Despite the saloon's offer to return the money, Wilson declared that someone was going to die. As Sheriff Tafoya moved forward to grab Wilson's gun, Wilson fired twice, hitting Tafoya in the chest and the head. The Wilson's barreled out of town, but a posse was quickly formed. The posse gunned down two of the Wilson brothers in a running gunfight to the east of Trinidad near present day Beshoar Junction. Believing he would be spared, the other Wilson brother surrendered to the posse. After listening to his plea for mercy, the posse hanged the last Wilson brother from a cottonwood tree on Gray Creek Trail (now Gray Creek Road), as a warning to other would be scoundrels.

Sheriff Tafoya served as a deputy to Sheriff Juan Gutierrez during the Christmas Day War of 1867. He was elected Sheriff in 1870, left office later that year and was appointed Sheriff after the removal of the elected Sheriff in 1871 then reelected prior to his death.


Ora M Nason
Bent County


On September 20, 1873, Bent County S.O. Deputy Ora M. Nason, 42, died from an accidental bullet wound. He was patrolling in Las Animas on September 18, 1873 when his gun fell and hit the ground. He picked it up and while placing it in his waistband it discharged with the ‘ball striking him in the abdomen’. Deputy Nason had lived in Las Animas for 4 years. He was a veteran having served in the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War and even spent several months as a prisoner at Libby. Deputy Nason was survived by his brother.


James Hooker
Elbert County SO

 

James Hooker, 60, was shot and killed on March 24, 1875 near Gomers Mill.  James Hooker was the father of Elbert County Deputy Julius Hooker, 29, and had been sworn in as part of a posse to arrest a gang of men that had been terrorizing the citizens of Elbert County for some time.  The posse had arrested eight of the men and they were being held in Kiowa by a group of armed citizens.  The ‘ringleaders’ were Evan Hall and William Wilder.  Two Arapahoe County deputies (Wilcox & Waterbury) had been sent out from Denver to assist as they held warrants for both Hall & Wilder.  However the deputies arrived several hours too late as the confrontation had already occurred.  The posse, numbering about 15 men, had found Hall & Wilder and two members (James Hooker and one other) managed to get behind them.  Posse member Hooker had a shotgun and ordered the men to drop their guns.  Hooker fired and turned to run back towards cover as Hall shot one time and hit Hooker in the back.  Hooker turned back and fired the second barrel of the shotgun, again to no effect but was struck twice, in the lungs, by bullets fired by Hall.  Posse member James Hooker died about 20 minutes later.  Both Hall and Wilder were captured near Colorado Springs on April 17th and eventually returned to the Arapahoe County Jail in Denver.  On July 28, 1875, seven prisoners (including Hall and Wilder) escaped from the jail by cutting thru a bar, attacking their jailers and locking the guards in a cell.  On August 8th the posse shot and killed Hall and another escapee however, Wilder escapes with a bullet in the arm.  He surrenders two days later at the Monument train station.


Zach Allen
Rio Grande County


On August 9, 1875, Rio Grande County S.O. Undersheriff Zack Allen, 41, died when he was accidently shot and killed by another officer. Undersheriff Allen and a Del Norte police officer had arrested two men for stealing horses out of Lake City the previous day. The officers received word that friends of the horse thieves were going to try and free the prisoners. Allen had the Del Norte officer guard the jail that night and they arranged a sign so he would know if Allen returned. About 2 AM Undersheriff Allen returned to the jail but failed to give the sign when challenged on his approach. The jailer fired his shotgun and Allen was struck by about 20 pellets of ‘duck shot’. He acknowledged that he should have given the agreed upon sign, prior to his death about 6 hours later. Undersheriff Zack Allen had previously served one term as Sheriff of Huerfano County and two terms of Sheriff of Pueblo County. He was survived by his wife and 4 children.


Charles Kast
Las Animas


On February 8, 1876, Las Animas Town Constable Charles Kast, 49, was shot and killed while trying to break up a disturbance in a saloon called ‘Old John’s Dive’. A man refused to cooperate and pulled a gun shooting Constable Kast once in the chest. Kast returned fire without effect. The suspect escaped on horseback but was captured about 6 hours later and custody taken by the sheriff. The suspect was convicted and sentenced to the Territorial Prison at Canon City. Constable Kast was had served in that position for 2 years. He was born in Germany but was an 18-year veteran of the U. S. Army and had spent 26 years on the ‘frontier’. He spoke Spanish, German and English fluently.


Constable Charles Faber
Bent County


On December 21, 1876, Constable Faber was shot and killed by Clay Allison at the Olympic Dance Hall in Las Animas. Clay and his brother John were in town from their home in Cimarron, New Mexico. They had been drinking and creating a disturbance when Deputy Faber responded, armed with a 10 gauge shotgun (Faber had earlier attempted to have the Allisons check their weapons, but they refused). Faber leveled the shotgun at John (probably mistaking him for the more dangerous Clay), when someone shouted, "Look out!" As John began to turn, Faber fired and struck him in the chest and shoulder. Clay Allison immediately turned and fired four rounds at Faber, one of which struck him in the chest and killed him almost instantly. As Faber fell, the shotgun discharged again and struck John in the leg.

A coroner's jury convened on December 22 and determined that Charles Faber was in the performance of his official duty when Clay Allison shot him. Clay was subsequently arrested and tried for manslaughter, but was released when no witnesses appeared to testify against him. John Allison later recovered from his injuries. Clay died in a wagon accident near Pecos, New Mexico, on July 3, 1887.


Alvin Phippenney
Pueblo Police


On June 30, 1879, Pueblo Police Officer Alvin Phippenney, 32, was shot and killed while trying to break up a disturbance in a saloon. He attempted to disarm a rancher who had been drinking heavily and they ended up wrestling in the saloon and out the door. Witnesses stated that 5 or 6 shots were fired. Officer Phippenney was shot in the back and died about 15 minutes later. The rancher was also shot, survived and escaped about a week later. Another man assisted the rancher and he left town right after the shooting. Neither suspect was ever caught. Officer Phippenney had lived in Pueblo for over 2 years. He was a widower with several small children and was planning to be married on the day of his death.


Officer John Carville
Sergeant Lauriston Stewart
Leadville Police Department


On July 17, 1880, Officer Carville and another Leadville officer were summoned to a store on a report of a man brandishing a gun. The man, later identified as Charles Bakewell, moved to the back of the store as the officers entered. Suddenly, he fired one shot, wounding Officer Carville. The second officer (named Webb) pursued Bakewell out of the store and a running gun battle began. Sergeant Stewart (or Stuart) was at the Police Station, and hearing the commotion, left his office and began pursuing Bakewell. As Stewart was about to overtake Bakewell, the suspect drew a fresh revolver and fired three shots. All three shots struck the Sergeant.

Bakewell was quickly captured and taken to the Lake County Jail. Officer Carville died the next day. Sergeant Stewart died on July 22nd. Bakewell was tried, convicted and sent to prison, although he narrowly avoided being lynched by some of Leadville's outraged citizens.
Sources: The Daily Democrat; Leadville Research Cooperative.


Night Policeman Michael O'Neal
Kokomo Police Department


On July 22, 1880, Night Policeman O'Neal was attempting to quiet a disturbance at a saloon in the small town of Kokomo. After O'Neal asked the patrons in the saloon to quiet down, Charles Norton, without saying a word, drew his pistol and shot O'Neal through the abdomen. Ten minutes later, O'Neal died of his wounds. Charles Norton was later hanged by local townsmen without benefit of a trial.


Marshal D. G. "Clate" Ogsbury
City of Silverton


On August 24, 1881, Marshal Ogsbury was shot and killed in front of the Diamond Saloon on Blair Street in Silverton. His killer was Burt Wilkinson, who was apparently a member of an outlaw gang and was wanted by the Sheriff in Durango. Wilkinson was later caught and lynched by some of Silverton's citizens.

Marshal Ogsbury was first buried in Silverton, but at the request of relatives, his body was reburied in his home state of New York. His name is incorrectly spelled on on the memorial as "Ogsburg".
Source: San Juan County Sheriff's Department.


Sheriff Edward N. Campbell
Hinsdale County


On April 26, 1882, Sheriff Campbell was on a stakeout at a vacant home in Lake City, along with Lake City Marshal Clair Smith. At 1:45am, George Betts and James Browning entered the house to commit a burglary and were surprised by the two officers. When Sheriff Campbell yelled for them to throw up their hands, the response was a .44 caliber bullet through his chest, causing almost instantaneous death.

Both Betts and Browning were captured within a few hours and taken to the county jail. In the early hours of April 27th, both men were forcibly removed from the jail by a large group of masked men. They were taken to the Ocean Wave Bridge in Lake City and lynched.

Sheriff Campbell was originally from Ohio and had served with the infantry during the Civil War.
Sources: Lake City Mining Register; Rocky Mountain News; Lake City Silver World; Hinsdale County Sheriff's Office.


Marshal George L. Smith
Town of Rico


On Saturday, June 3, 1882 at about 11:00 a.m.,Marshal Smith was attempting to arrest two subjects, who had been charged with stealing saddles. He had the warrants and was accompanied by Delores County Sheriff W. H. Dawson. The wanted subjects, Thomas Wall, 18, and Charlie Cummings (alias Trinidad Charlie), 23, were in a house in Rico and had just received word that the Marshal was looking for them. They were preparing to leave when the officers arrived and entered the house without knocking. Cummings did not like the way the officers entered, drew his gun and opened fire. Marshal Smith was shot in the leg, side and head. Wall and Cummings both then ran from Rico with Sheriff Dawson firing 5-6 rounds, all of which hit the dirt in front of the two thieves. Marshal Smith died within minutes from his wounds. Wall and Cummings took two animals from some packers just outside of town then a few minutes later stole a horse from a wagon to make their escape.

A posse began the pursuit which ultimately led to their capture a week later by La Plata County Sheriff Watson and Deputy Bacon about 120 miles SE of Rico near the San Juan River on the Navajo reservation.   The prisoners were transported to Durango by Sheriff Watson who then went to Rico to collect the $1,500 reward offered for Wall and Cummings. Delores County Undersheriff Misch then travelled to Durango and brought the prisoners back to Rico. On Thursday, June 14th, Wall and Cummings were interviewed by the local newspaper where Trinidad Charlie admitted that he did the shooting and that Wall never had a gun in the house when Marshal Smith was shot. Late that night, or early Friday morning, a group of Rico citizens got past the four guards at the jail and took the prisoners out and hung (lynched) them in the stable behind the jail. Marshal George L. Smith was buried in the Valle Rico Cemetery on June 4, 1882. Newspaper accounts state that about 1000 people attended the funeral and “the largest procession ever seen in Rico” followed him to his final resting place.


Deputy Marshal James Bathurst
Salida Police Department


On May 30, 1883, Deputy Marshal James (Buster) Bathurst and Marshal Baxter Stingley responded to a disturbance at Marm Bender's restaurant. Tom Evans and Thomas Neinmyer were threatening patrons, as well as the officers. As the officers approached Evans and Neinmyer, shots were fired. Stingley received a gunshot wound in the groin and Bathurst was shot through the chest. Bathurst died soon after the shooting, but Stingley survived. Evans was also killed during the shootout, but it is unknown what became of Neinmyer.


Marshal Baxter Stingley
Salida Police Department


On May 31, 1883, Marshal Stingley, who had recovered from a previous shooting, was serving a warrant to Frank Reed for taking a prisoner away from the marshal. Stingley approached Reed, put a gun in the man's stomach, and ordered him to put his hands up. Instead, Reed reached for Stingley's gun, and after a brief struggle, shot the marshal. Stingley subsequently died of his wounds the next day, June 1, 1883.


Casper Zweifel
Central Pueblo Marshal


On July 25, 1884, Central Pueblo Marshal Casper Zweifel, 37, was stabbed and killed by a prisoner he was escorting to jail. Marshal Zweifel had arrested the man for passing counterfeit silver dollars in a saloon. The silver dollars were made of pewter and were lighter than the real ones. The suspect had a knife with a 4-inch blade that he pulled out and used to stab the Marshal while they were walking to jail. The suspect stabbed the marshal twice in the groin, at the top of each leg, and then took off. Marshal Zweifel attempted to pursue but bled to death in just a few minutes as one of the stab wounds struck the femoral artery. A pursuit began but the suspect escaped and was never caught. Marshal Zweifel had just been appointed to his post earlier in the week. He was a veteran of the U. S. Army and had served in Missouri. He was born in Switzerland and was survived by his wife.


Gabriel Hollingsworth Jr 
Arapahoe County SO


Deputy Gabriel B. (Gay) Hollingsworth, 22, was shot and killed on December 10, 1887 while serving on a posse attempting to capture the ‘Deer Trail Desperado’, Newt Vorce.  Arapahoe County Deputy Amos Cantley had been shot and wounded by Vorce three days earlier near Deer Trail so a posse was formed to pursue Vorce.  Deputy Frank Hollingsworth swore in the 5 man posse on December 7th, and it included his younger brother, Gay.  Early Saturday, December 10th they found the horse Vorce had been riding on the LHC Ranch which was located about 10 miles south of Corona (in Weld County).  Vorce was hiding in one of seven ‘dugouts’ in the side of a hill near the corral.  The posse watched the dugout all day but Vorce refused to come out.  Near sundown, about 5:00 o’clock, the posse approached closer, surrounding it, with their guns drawn planning to get Vorce at dark.  Gay Hollingsworth was on the south side of the dugout when a man exited it with his hands up.  Gay believed it was Vorce but it was actually a ranch hand, named Billy, who had been in the dugout when Vorce arrived.  When Gay approached Billy, Vorce fired thru a chink in the dugout wall and Gay was shot twice.  The posse got to Gay and pulled him away, but he died within a few minutes.  Vorce escaped on a fresh horse but was subsequently captured a week later (Dec. 18th) on the Robinson ranch by a posse led by Undersheriff John Chivington.  Vorce was convicted in the killing of Deputy Gay Hollingsworth and sentenced to the State Penitentiary in Canon City.  Corona was renamed Wiggins in 1896.  That area became part of Morgan County when it was formed in 1889.


Deputy Bill Thompson
Las Animas County Sheriff's Office


On February 16, 1888, Las Animas County Deputy Sheriff Bill Thompson was shot and killed in Boston, CO while attempting to serve a warrant on the 'Band of Thirteen' gang led by Jack White. The gang was in Boston when Thompson arrived and Jack White met him, inquired about the warrant and shot Thompson breaking his neck. Deputy Thompson was formerly a dance-house keeper in Dodge City. He was considered a 'hard case', but a brave officer.

White rode the range for four years on the 101 Ranch before he turned bad and headed his band of outlaws for about a year prior to this incident. They operated in the Neutral Strip, Kansas, Colorado and Texas. White was later captured, convicted and sentenced to prison. At the time of this incident, Las Animas County extended to the Kansas line. Baca County was created April 16, 1889. The old town of Boston would have been southeast of Springfield, CO and only existed from 1886 to 1892.


Policeman John C. Phillips
Denver Police Department


On July 16, 1889, early in the morning, Policeman John Phillips was walking his beat when he happened upon an apparent burglar. When Phillips asked the man's business, the suspect replied that he was "drawing water". Then, the suspect drew a revolver and fired a single shot at Phillips. The policeman fell to his knees, but was able to fire a few shots and get to a call box to call for help. Phillips died shortly after giving a description of the suspect.

John Phillips thus became Denver's first police officer to be killed in the line of duty. Although the newspapers called it "a murderous deed" and the public was outraged, the killer was never caught.


Mounted Policeman Charles F. Wanless
Denver Police Department


On September 18, 1890, Policeman Charles Wanless was killed as he responded to a disturbance at a boarding house at 917 Broadway. Wanless had barely entered the premises at 9 o'clock when he was shot by Joseph Barnes. Barnes was drunk and had been threatening and arguing with his wife and mother.


Captain Charles A. Hawley
Denver Police Department


On January 15, 1891, Captain Hawley was talking outside the Windsor Hotel with Denver Policeman Norris, when Harley McCoy and P. E. Robinson approached the officers. Hawley made an apparent disparaging comment about McCoy. Robinson stopped and reached for a gun. Norris grappled with Robinson, who shot Norris once in the chest. McCoy then drew a gun and shot Hawley twice. Norris survived his wound, but Hawley died later in the hotel. McCoy was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Source: Code 109.


Joseph R. Lampkin 
AT&SF Ry Police


Night Watchman Joseph R. Lampkin, 38, was shot and killed on December 9, 1891 at the La Junta Depot about 11:30 PM.  Watchman Lampkin and La Junta City Marshal Oran Gemmill were attempting to keep track of a ‘demented’ passenger, J. W. Knorsa, on train while it was stopped in La Junta.  Knorsa was back in his seat but, after the officers left, he left the train, jumped onto a switch engine working in the yard, then threatened engine crew with a revolver.  Knorsa then exited the switch engine and ran farther into the rail yard.  The officers went looking for him, spotting him near the ice house.  Lampkin jumped over the drawbar between two stopped coal cars and was confronted by Knorsa who held a revolver.  Lampkin ordered him to drop the gun but Knorsa fired twice with one of the rounds striking Watchman Lampkin in the neck killing him almost immediately.  Gemmill fired at Knorsa as he ran off into the yard.  The railroad workers refused to work in the yard the rest of the night and at daylight they found Knorsa dead near the ice house, where he had committed suicide by cutting his own throat.  Knorsa was traveling from San Francisco to New York City.  Newspaper accounts state that there was no doubt that Knorsa was insane.  Watchman Lampkin was born in Missouri in 1853 and was survived by his wife and two children.  He had worked for the Santa Fe Railway in Las Vegas, NM before moving to La Junta a short time before his death.


Special Officer Gustave Gisin
Denver Police Department


On January 23, 1893, Officer Gustave Gisin, 60, was assigned to the Grant Smelter Neighborhood when he was notified that Thomas Jordan, 27, was drunk, armed with a revolver and threatening employees of the Omaha & Grant Smelter and looking for the supervisor to “fill him full of lead”. Jordan, who had been fired about 6:00 AM that morning, exchanged angry words with the day foreman, and then spent most of the day at a saloon near 40th and Larimer. He returned to the smelter about 7 PM and started his hunt for the supervisor. Officer Gisin was advised and responded to try and talk with Jordan.

Gisin was armed (with a revolver in his pocket) when he got to the door of the building that Jordan was standing in. As soon as Officer Gisin entered the building Jordan got the drop on Gisin and held him at gunpoint. Officer Gisin attempted to negotiate with Jordan but his efforts were not successful. Jordan shot Gisin from a distance of about 10 feet with the bullet striking him in the chest. After Gisin fell, Jordan ran outside where he was captured within a few minutes by responding Officers Izett and Ford. Gisin was transported to a nearby home where he died at 3:30 PM the next day with his family at his side. The bullet had entered his left lung and death was caused by internal hemorrhaging. Officer Gustave Gisin was born in Germany and had received his police commission on June 20, 1885. He was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery.   Thomas Jordan (prison # 3268), was convicted of the murder of Officer Gisin and sentenced to be hanged. He was executed at 8:30 PM on May 11, 1895 at the Penitentiary in Canon City.


Marshal A. E. Cook
Como Marshal


On April 7, 1894, during the night, Marshal Cook responded to the house of Levi J. Streeter to quiet a party that was being held at the home. Streeter answered the door and immediately opened fire on Cook. Cook was shot three times and his head was badly crushed by some type of blunt weapon. He was pronounced dead soon after the incident. Streeter apparently believed that the person at the door was the husband of a woman in the house. Streeter was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to death.


Deputy Sheriff John Myers
Gunnison County Sheriff's Office


On April 24, 1894, Deputy Sheriff Myers went to Doyleville to arrest Nick Myers (no relation) on a warrant. Nick Myers refused to go with the sheriff and retreated into his house. Inside, Myers seized his rifle and fired at the deputy, hitting him twice and inflicting mortal wounds. The murderer fled and was later killed by Sheriff E. Deering.


City Marshal Charles Emerson
Alamosa Police Department


On January 19, 1895, City Marshal Charles Emerson received a telegram informing him that Abe Taylor (25) and William Thompson (17) had stolen a load of oats from a ranch. When Taylor attempted to sell the oats, Marshal Emerson arrested him. Taylor denied having done anything wrong, but Emerson told him he would hold him a short time for investigation.

Emerson and Taylor then got onto a wagon to go to the barn. The lead horses refused to move, so Taylor and Thompson attempted to lead the horses by the reins. At this moment, Taylor took a gun from Thompson. Emerson saw the exchange and drew his gun. Taylor fired once at Emerson's right hand and Emerson returned fire. Taylor shot again, this time through Emerson's heart. The Marshal fell from his perch on the wagon, holding his chest. Emerson tried to get up from the ground and Taylor shot again. At this point, Emerson was too weak to stand, but he was able to prop his gun up and fired four rounds at Taylor.

Taylor ran and was pursued by townspeople and captured later that day. Emerson died two days later as a result of the wounds sustained in the gun battle. Taylor was tried and convicted of the murder of Marshal Emerson.


Detective Alpheus J. Moore
Denver Police Department


On March 20, 1895, Detective Al Moore was escorting three prisoners from their apartment to the jail. Moore was taking them to a call box when they all escaped. Moore followed one man (thought to have been Pat Crowe and later found to be Cyrus Eddinger) down Nineteenth. Moore fired two shots, the first a warning shot in the air and the second at the man. The man turned and fired several shots, one of which struck Moore in the groin, severed arteries and paralyzed his leg. Moore died the next day in the hospital. The assailant was never captured.
Source: Code 109.


Night Marshal William Shea
Victor Marshal's Office


On August 11, 1895, Bill Gibson and his brother Norman had been threatening to kill Night Marshal Shea on sight. Lew Vaneck warned Shea about the threats, and the marshal went in search of the Gibson brothers. Shea found them at the outskirts of town, confronted the two, and took a revolver from Norman. Bill, who was seated on a fence, immediately jumped to the ground, began cursing at the marshal and shot him in the stomach. Shea died a few hours later.


Officer John Solomon
Trinidad Police Department


On November 21, 1895, Officer John Solomon unexpectedly walked into a robbery taking place at the Horse Shoe Club, located immediately adjacent to the Columbian Hotel in Trinidad. Officer Solomon observed a man in the dark who pointed a gun at him and told him to put up his hands. Solomon refused and while struggling with the man, he was shot in the back by another man.

The three robbers fled the scene and Officer Solomon was found by the alley entrance of the hotel by a bartender at the club. Officer Solomon was carried into the Horse Shoe Club and survived for several hours before dying at 5:10 AM. He was able to give his dying statement to the deputy district attorney about ½ hour before he died. City Marshal W. M. Smith of Walsenburg was sent for and he arrived with his two bloodhounds on a special train less than five hours after the shooting. Within ten hours six people were in custody. The dogs tracked the horses, then two of the men after they left their horses, about eight miles southeast of Trinidad. Four men were arrested in the city. Further investigation revealed the three men who actually attempted the robbery were William Holt (the Stuttering Kid) 21; Deonicio Romero, 21; and Albert Noble, 35.

Holt was tied to the crime because he lost his gun when struggling with Officer Solomon and he had just purchased it locally a few days before. Holt confessed first, then Romero. Evidence indicated that Noble shot Solomon in the back from close range leaving a powder burn on Solomon's coat. The bullet struck a rib and traveled around the body internally and was found in his undershirt. The three robbers had just recently been released from jail where they became acquainted with two other prisoners and it is believed that the robbery of the gambling club was intended to help them in some way. Noble had previously served 5 years in Canon City (prisoner #2088) for robbery out of El Paso County (Nov. 1889 to Oct. 1894). A total of eight persons were arrested for this crime but five of them were held for being accessories. No disposition of the charges against the five accessories has been found.
All three men were convicted of the murder of Officer Solomon and sentenced to death. They were hung on June 26, 1896 at Canon City in the first ever 'triple hanging' held in Colorado. The hangings were held in alphabetical order with Holt (#3975) meeting his fate at 8:15PM, Noble (#3973) at 8:45PM and Romero (#3976) at 9:10PM.

Officer John Solomon had served as an officer for 12 years and was survived by his wife and 4 children. The funeral was on Sunday, November 24th and was one of the largest ever held in Trinidad. The ceremony was conducted by the Knights of Pythias and the Ancient Order of United Workmen which both counted him as a member of their respective orders. At least 250 members of the two groups marched in the procession to the Masonic cemetery along with the city band and a large concourse of friends.


Special Officer Wendell P. Smith
Denver Police Department


On February 5, 1896, Special Officer Wendell Smith, 28, was working a beat on east Colfax, with Special Officer Calvin Rowland, when they found a man crouching near the back door behind the Hathaway Grocery at 2404 E. Colfax about 8:30 PM. The man angrily stated he had business there and straightened up, then said he had to get his coat from the coal shed. The suspect put on his coat then immediately put his hand in the coat pocket, drew his gun and started firing at the officers. Rowland was hit first then Smith was hit in the right elbow then the right side of his chest took the third round. The suspect fled towards City Park with Officer Smith in pursuit but Smith collapsed in front of the grocery store. Smith was carried to Richard’s Drug store at 14th and High St. where police Surgeon Jarecki responded.

Smith was then transported to the county hospital where he died at 10:45 PM. Office Rowland was just “scratched” by the bullet that hit him and the investigating officers accused him of cowardice for running away after the shooting. Rowland claimed to have been unarmed but the doctor that treated his injury stated that Rowland took a .41 caliber revolver out of his pocket when came in for care. Another grocery had been burglarized that night and burglary tools were found at the scene. The murderer of Officer Smith was never caught.

Officer Smith was commissioned two years earlier and had worked as a regular officer and a special officer at the rail yards, and was apparently going to take the place of Rowland on the Colfax beat when he was killed. Services were held at Uzzell’s Tabernacle and he was buried at Fairmount Cemetery. He was survived by his wife and a brother from Lead, SD.


Deputy R. B. Williams
Gilpin County


On April 16, 1896, Gilpin County Sheriff Kehler deputized R. B. Williams to help him apprehend a suspect named Covington, who had threatened to kill the Judge. When they contacted him, Covington shot both Kehler and Williams. Kehler survived, but Williams died three days later, April 19, 1896.
Source: Gilpin County Sheriff's Office.


Deputy William Green
Deputy William Kelly
Las Animas County Sheriff's Office


On April 20, 1896, Deputies William Green and William Kelly left Trinidad for the area of San Isidro in the mountains SE of Trinidad. They had an arrest warrant for Miguel Reville, the reported leader of a gang of cattle thieves operating in that area. Deputy Green had a reputation as a man with nerve and was willing to go after Reville. The deputies were due back in Trinidad about April 26th. Deputies Green and Kelly were last seen at Barela Station where they told people that they were going after cattle thieves. When they didn't return it was at first assumed that they were on the trail but within a few days a posse was sent out to search for the deputies but no trace was found. A report was also received that two bodies were found near San Isidro but the posse was unable to find the bodies or any other evidence.

Deputy Green's brothers, John and Ely, came up from Las Vegas, NM Territory and searched for over a year. Their efforts paid off in 1897 when they received information from a citizen in Raton that implicated Macedonio Archuleta as having knowledge about the deputies' murder. Archuleta was arrested and held in secret and finally confessed. He stated that four men near San Isidro ambushed the deputies. He identified them as Nestor Martinez, Moses Frayter, Juan Duran and Antonio Reville. Archuleta also stated that the bodies were buried for three days, then dug up and burned to conceal the crime. Only a few charred bones were ever recovered. Additional arrests made from Archuleta's confession were Dave Hodges, Rupeito Archuleta, Juan Pacheco, Lucia Duran and Lucia Archuleta. The two women even testified at the trial recounting statements from the men that ambushed the deputies.

One additional motive for the slaying of the deputies, other than cattle rustling, was that deputy Green had a few weeks previously arrested Pedro Baca and Leandro Martinez for a murder they had committed in Starkville. Baca and Martinez both received sentences of 40 year to life. Their friends had vowed revenge against Deputy Green for this and it apparently was a factor in the ambush. Ultimately five of these suspects were convicted of murder in the deaths of Deputies Green and Kelly. Rupeito Archuleta, 67, (prisoner #4364), Moses Frayter, 34, (#4365), Juan Duran, 51, (#4366), Juan Pacheco, 41, (#4383) and Nestor Martinez, 30, (#4408) were all convicted of murder and sentenced to prison. Archuleta and Pacheco died in prison in 1899 and 1901 respectively. Fraytor was paroled in 1913 and Duran was paroled in 1911. Martinez was pardoned in 1899.

Miguel Reville was actually killed by others in the gang on April 17, 1896, according to Macedonio Archuleta. This would have been three days before the deputies started out to arrest him. Miguel Reville was also reported to have been killed by a Texas Ranger near Childers, TX on November 7, 1896. The ranger may have actually killed Antonio Reville as no record of him after this date has been found.


Constable Benjamin Bish
Colorado Springs Police Department


On June 25, 1896, Constable Bish had only been employed by the Colorado Springs Police Department for two months, and he reported for duty at approximately 10:00pm. His first assignment was to check the alley between Tejon Street and Cascade Avenue. At approximately 10:20pm, neighbors heard shots and two men were seen sprinting out of the alley. Bish had been shot in the left breast and died 35 minutes later.

The killer, William Clark, committed suicide in a coal shed soon after the murder. Clark's partner, Pat Coyne, was arrested four hours later and confessed that he was an accomplice to the murder of Constable Bish. He was later sentenced to life in the penitentiary.


Marshal Joseph Simons
Alamosa Police Department


On September 7, 1897, two men were trying to gain entry into the home of O. P. Brown. Brown chased the men away, but one of them threatened to return and shoot him. A little later, Brown saw a man whom he supposed to be the man who had threatened him, and he fired at the man with a shotgun. This man was not the person who had threatened him; it was Marshal Simons who had come to investigate the disturbance. Simons exonerated Brown before he died, as the two had been friends for years.


Deputy Ernest Conrad
Deputy Sumner Whitney
Summit County Sheriff's Office


On August 11, 1898, While several prominent citizens gambled at the Denver Hotel in Breckenridge, Pug Ryan and his gang entered the hotel. The gang originally intended to rob the hotel safe, but instead relieved the gamblers of their valuables at gunpoint. Pug and his thugs fled to a remote cabin near Kokomo after the robbery.

Summit County Sheriff Jerry Detweiler deputized Ernest Conrad, who had assisted with law enforcement duties in Breckenridge for years. Conrad hastened to Kokomo, where he deputized longtime Kokomo resident Sumner Whitney. The two men traveled to the cabin where the gang was hiding out.

After gaining entry to the cabin, Conrad and Whitney demanded that the gang return the stolen loot. Unwilling to comply, Ryan and his gang opened fire on the two deputies. Conrad died instantly. Whitney was mortally wounded, as were two of the bandits. Pug escaped unscathed, though not before robbing one of his dying henchmen. Whitney succumbed to his wounds a few weeks later.


Sheriff Edward Farr
Huerfano County


On July 16, 1899, Huerfano County Sheriff Edward Farr joined a posse in the New Mexico Territory town of Cimarron. The posse was searching for the famous Sam Ketchum Gang that had been robbing banks, trains and postal units in New Mexico and Arizona for many years. Their latest escapade had been the robbery of a Colorado & Southern train on July 11th, just south of Folsom, in the New Mexico Territory.

That evening, the posse caught up with a remnant of the gang, consisting of Sam Ketchum, G. W. Franks (alias Will Carver) and Elza Lay (alias William McGinnis). During the attack on the camp, Sheriff Farr was shot three times and died within minutes.

Ketchum was later arrested and hung on April 26, 1901 in New Mexico for train robbery. Lay escaped but was arrested on August 16th, tried, convicted of Farr's death and sentenced to life imprisonment. Franks was never caught. Ironically, Lay was pardoned by New Mexico Governor Otero on January 10, 1906.

Sheriff Farr was one of southern Colorado's largest ranchers and was eulogized as "a man of generous impulses and un-yielding courage". Also killed in the gun battle was New Mexico Deputy Sheriff M. Love.


Policeman Thomas C. Clifford
Policeman William E. Griffiths
Denver Police Department


On August 13, 1899, three soldiers from the 34th Infantry at Fort Logan were drinking and acting boisterously at Klipfel's Saloon in downtown Denver, so they were ordered out. As the trio left the saloon, Policeman Thomas Clifford confronted them near 20th and Blake. When Clifford demanded that the men relinquish their weapons, one of the soldiers, Wellington Llewellyn, drew his weapon and shot and killed Clifford.

Llewellyn then fled toward the 16th Street Bridge, with other officers in foot pursuit. Policeman William Griffiths chased Llewellyn under the bridge, where he was also shot and killed. Although Llewellyn escaped, the two other soldiers identified him. For a while, the Denver Police stopped every soldier walking the streets. This led to bad feelings between the police and the Army, so the search was eventually abandoned.

Lewellyn was never caught, and an unconfirmed report in 1912 had him leading a group of bandits in the Philippines.


Stuart K. Harvey
Denver Police Department


On November 6, 1900, Officer Harvey was shot and killed on Election Day while monitoring a polling place at 2127 Larimer Street. Officer Harvey was a black ‘Special Policeman’ reflecting the segregation present in Denver at that time. He was working with Patrolman Samuel Carpenter and Special Policeman Charles Green when bogus (illegally appointed) Arapahoe County deputies started a disturbance and shot all three officers. Harvey died about 7 hours after being shot (shooting occurred just as the polls opened at 7AM) the same day. Carpenter and Green were both seriously injured. Carpenter later died from his injuries in 1910. Green recovered and later was appointed as a regular officer for Denver PD.


William C. Downing 
Union Pacific RR Police


Special Policeman William C. Downing, 30, died on January 29, 1901 from a bullet wound to the chest in the UP Railroad yards under the 23rd Street viaduct in Denver.  He was a night watchman, assigned to patrol the rail yards to combat theft from rail cars, and had been employed by the UP RR in that capacity for 5 years.  His shift began at 7:00 PM on Monday, January 28th when he reported to work at the freight depot on 19th Street.  He made a short patrol of the yard near the station then was not seen again after 8:30 PM.  His body was found about 7:00 AM by some Italian women, walking in the yard, looking for coal that had fallen off the railcars.  They notified a railroad worker who notified the coroner.  Downing's body lay on his back across the track next to a boxcar with the side door open.  It was determined that he had received a bullet wound to the chest which actually went thru his badge before lodging in his back.  Downing's .44 caliber revolver lay just next to his body.  Investigation determined that Downing was checking out the boxcar and it appears that he was attempting to enter the boxcar when he was shot, presumably by someone in the boxcar.  However his gun had one round fired and the coroner's jury determined that Downing accidently shot himself when the gun discharged while he was either entering or exiting the boxcar.  The time of death was estimated to be about 1:00 AM.  Not everyone agreed with this decision as some thought it was a clear case of murder.  Downing was called a 'Night Watchman' by the railroad but was also a sworn 'Special Officer' of the Denver Police Department.  His salary was paid by the Union Pacific RR.   Officer Downing was single and lived at 3017 California.  He was a veteran of the Spanish American war and served in the Philippines.  Services were held at the Glenarm Street Armory and burial was at Fairmount Cemetery.


Officer E.T. Clark
Cripple Creek Police Department


On August 9, 1901, Officer E. T. Clark, 35, died about 10:35p.m. He was on patrol when he spotted the fire at Shideler and 'B' streets. He ran to the nearest fire box (#5) at 'B' and Thurlow streets to pull the alarm. He reached for the alarm with his right hand and was electrocuted by a 2,000-volt line. The ground was wet at the time and witnesses reported seeing blue flame burst from Clark's hand and heard him moan, “Take me away -- box 5 -- Oh, my God,” and he fell to the ground. He was dead before the doctor could arrive. The electric light at this point is suspended from an iron arm that extends out from the pole and the cable with which it is raised and lowered when being trimmed ran down the pole alongside. When Clark reached for the alarm he came in contact with the cable that had been crossed with the other wires.

Officer E. T. Clark was a former firefighter for the city but was hired by Police Chief J. Knox Burton after the election the previous spring. Clark was survived by his wife and family.


Officer Silas Martz
Officer Elwin Slater
Pueblo Police Department


On October 7, 1903, Officers Martz and Slater responded to a disturbance at the Palace Drug Store. Dr. C. O. Rice was intoxicated and threatening people with a .45 revolver. Martz entered the store and tried to talk to Dr. Rice, but as he stepped forward, Rice shot him in the neck. Slater then entered the drug store and tried to draw his weapon, accidentally discharging it and shooting himself in the leg. Martz died immediately following the incident, and Slater died a day later from his wound.


Deputy W. E. Hammon
Gunnison County Sheriff's Office


On June 16, 1904, Deputy Hammon was attempting to arrest Tim Sullivan for being intoxicated and threatening to shoot his wife. Sullivan drew a pistol and fired twice, hitting Hammon once in the back as he was attempting to get away from Sullivan. Hammon was unarmed at the time of the shooting, and he died ten minutes later from the gunshot wound. Tim Sullivan was later tried, convicted, and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Deputy Hammon.


Captain William Bohanna
Police Surgeon Frank Dulin
Denver Police Department


On March 12, 1905, George Shissler decided he'd had enough of his neighbor, Key Sill. The two had had a property dispute since 1902, and Shissler was about to end it. He sent his wife and children off to church and then took his shotgun and walked over to Sill's home. After a heated verbal exchange, Sill began to run and Shissler shot and killed him. Shissler then shot at Mrs. Sill through a window and killed her as she tried to escape. He also tried to kill Sill's daughters but they got away.

As an ambulance carrying Captain William Bohanna and Police Surgeon Frank Dulin arrived on the scene at East 39th Avenue and Adams Street, Shissler opened fire, striking them both. Dozens of patrolmen, deputies and armed citizens then surrounded the house, and after 2 hours and a reported 400-500 rounds of ammunition had been fired, authorities entered the house and found Shissler dead. Two days later, Doctor Dulin died from his wounds, and the following day, Captain Bohanna succumbed.

Never in the young history of Denver had such an event taken place, and the newspapers labeled Shissler a "maniac".


Deputy Francisco Garcia
Las Animas County Sheriff's Office


On October 19, 1905, Deputy Francisco Garcia was shot and killed by Dave Arguillo (or Arguello). The shooting took place at the Floyd Ranch on Johnson's Mesa, south of Trinchera, in New Mexico Territory. Arguillo was wanted for the July 23, 1903 murder of Mrs. Celia Dassart in Bowen. Las Animas County Sheriff Davis was trying to find two fugitives that he believed were hiding in the county. One of them was Arguillo and the other was Luz Apodaca who was wanted for the August 19, 1904 killing of a girl named Josepa Madrid, of Trinchera.

Sheriff Davis swore in Garcia as a deputy in the spring of 1905 because he knew both Arguillo and Apodaca. Deputy Garcia lived near Trinchera and may have been hunting a stray colt when he arrived, unarmed, at the Floyd Ranch on October 19. Arguillo had spent nearly two years of his fugitive time herding sheep east of Johnson's Mesa before he hired on for threshing time at the Floyd Ranch just two weeks before, using the name 'Will Saianz'. Arguillo had received a note from his cousin just a couple of days before stating that Garcia was looking for him. Deputy Garcia passed Arguillo in the dining room of the ranch and Arguillo threatened Garcia. It is thought that Garcia did not expect to find Arguillo and that he intended only to eat then leave and get assistance in making the arrest later. After Garcia finished his dinner he exited the dining room and Arguillo was waiting for him and fired a shot striking Garcia's hat. They clinched and Arguillo grabbed Garcia with his free arm and shot him below the heart. Arguillo was immediately overpowered and disarmed by six men and Colfax County Sheriff Littrell (in Raton) was notified. Deputy Jones responded to the ranch and transported Arguillo to Raton.

Deputy Garcia was able to make a statement, in his own handwriting, saying that he was properly deputized by Sheriff Davis in Trinidad to arrest both Arguello and Apodaca for their crimes of murder, but that he had no intention of killing either of them. The statement was confirmed by all witnesses who attested to the fact that Garcia was unarmed. Deputy Garcia was survived by his wife, two children and his father. It was determined that New Mexico would try David Arguillo for the murder of Deputy Garcia and he would only come back to Trinidad if his conviction failed in Raton or he wasn't hanged for the crime. Arguillo was hung in Raton on May 26, 1906.


Sheriff William J. Thompson
La Plata County


On January 9, 1906, William (Big Bill) Thompson stood 6' 4" tall and weighed 280 pounds, but that didn't help him when he got into a gun battle with Jesse Stansel, the Town Marshal of Durango. Thompson had been appointed La Plata County Sheriff in 1898, and began to close down Durango's gambling halls under orders from the Governor. Marshal Stansel objected, and the two got into an argument at the El Mano Saloon. The argument moved out onto the sidewalk, where the two men emptied their guns at each other.

After the smoke cleared, both men were taken to Mercy Hospital, where Sheriff Thompson died from four bullet wounds. Marshal Stansel sustained one bullet wound to the chest and survived. After it was discovered that one of Thompson's wounds was to his back, Marshal Stansel was arrested for murder.

Before the trial could take place, the undertaker burned Sheriff Thompson's clothing, which was vital evidence to prove the murder charge. As a result, Stensel was acquitted by the jury. Soon after, he moved to Texas.


Policeman John Spellman
Denver Police Department


On June 18, 1906, Policeman John Spellman was attempting to arrest three men because they were loud and drunk. Spellman gave them a warning, and then approached them to place them under arrest. One of the men, thought to be George Turner, opened fire. Spellman was shot twice, once under the left nipple and again through the heart. He died almost instantly.
Source: Code 109.


Jailer Edward Innes
Mesa County


On September 27, 1906, Jailer Innes died from head injuries sustained during an attack by a prisoner in the Mesa County jail the previous day. The prisoner, George McGarvey, had been in jail for nearly six months, charged with assault on a child and was awaiting the next district court term. McGarvey was a trustee when he attacked Innes with a 2x4 piece of planking and then escaped. He was recaptured near DeBeque on September 30.

McGarvey was tried, convicted and sentenced to death and died on the gallows in Cañon City on January 12, 1907. Edward Innes had been the former fire chief of Grand Junction and was well respected in the community.


Special Agent Joseph A. Walker
United States Secret Service


Joseph Walker became the first Special Agent in Charge of the Denver office of the U. S. Secret Service. His territory included Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.

On November 3, 1906, Walker was investigating a case of land fraud with another Secret Service agent and two Interior Department engineers. While the other three men were down inside a mineshaft, Walker was shot in the back with a rifle. Two suspects were arrested and tried for the murder, but were found not guilty by a jury that feared reprisals.
Source: U. S. Secret Service.


Marshall J. Horace Frisbie
Lamar Marshal's Office


On December 26, 1906, Lamar Night Marshal J. Horace Frisbie was shot and killed when he apparently surprised some men in the process of a burglary. They escaped but one was captured by Kiowa County officers several days later, just over the state line near Astor, Kansas. Marshal Frisbie was survived by his wife and two sons.


Officer William Shellman
Pueblo Police Department


On August 6, 1906, Officer Shellman was patrolling his beat on horseback during a severe electrical storm. He was struck by lightning and knocked off of his horse.


Officer Joseph Allen
Fort Collins Police Department


On July 3, 1907, Officer Allen was found at 10 o'clock in the night lying in a pool of blood on the road. He had been beaten by an unknown assailant while patrolling the "jungles" of Fort Collins. Allen's head had been crushed by the back of an ax or club. He died soon after he was discovered.


Deputy Antonio T. Shelby
Las Animas County Sheriff's Office


On April 7, 1908, Deputy Antonio (Tony) Shelby, 42, was shot and killed in Aguilar, CO by a drunken Italian itinerant peddler named Frank (or Francisco) Cantania. Deputy Shelby was patrolling Aguilar near the Stagnolia Saloon, when he observed Cantania mistreat his own 10 year old son, Tom Cantania, by jerking him roughly from the buggy, causing the boy to cry. Shelby rebuked the elder Cantania. Shelby then took the lad to his house and returned to to find that Cantania was still being disorderly. Shelby approached Cantania who was sitting in his buggy. Shelby rested his right hand on the rear wheel when Cantania drew a gun and fired once striking Deputy Shelby in the throat. Cantania then whipped up his pony and headed out of Aguilar towards Hastings.

Undersheriff Louis Kreeger and Constable Delfido Ribal, on the road to Hastings, captured Cantania, 40, about 8 a.m. the next day, April 7.  They recovered Cantania's gun which was described as 'a 41 caliber Colt, double action of blue steel material'. The coroners jury met on April 8 and determined that Deputy Shelby came to his death from a gunshot wound fired by Francisco Cantania and the evidence was that the killing was done with felonious intent.

Cantania was kept in the Las Animas County jail (Trinidad) because the residents of Aguilar wanted to lynch him. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Cantania (inmate # 7357) was declared insane in 1920 and died in prison Jan. 17, 1948. Deputy Shelby was survived by his wife and five children. Tom Cantania was taken in by Senator Casmiro Barela and raised on his ranch.


Night Marshal James Delmar Ellis
Brighton Police Department


On March 6, 1908, Marshal Ellis was shot about 2:20am when he happened upon three men attempting to burglarize the Brighton Post Office. He returned fire before walking 20 feet to the telephone office and requesting a doctor. The doctors sent Ellis to Denver on the 4:24am train, but he died en-route. Several men were detained or arrested for the crime, but there is no record of any convictions.


Policeman William H. Beck
Denver Police Department


On May 2, 1908 between 3:15 and 3:30 a.m., Policeman William Beck was checking a photo supply store at 423 Sixteenth St., owned by E. O. Van Brandt. Beck found the rear door unlocked, so he entered the store to leave the owner a explanatory note. Beck turned and apparently encountered a burglar who fired at him and killed him instantly. The burglar fled and was never apprehended. The exact details of the murder of Policeman Beck are still unknown.
Source: Code 109.


Policeman William P. Stephens
Denver Police Department


On August 25, 1908, Policeman William Stephens responded to a possible burglary and confronted a man on a horse with another horse in tow. Words were exchanged, and the horseman pulled his gun and shot Stephens. The horseman then made his way east toward Sullivan, where he sold one of the horses. The buyer later discovered a bullet in the horse and contacted the police. The police arrested John Bradley, a known horse thief. Bradley was put in prison, where he died in 1930.
Source: Code 109.


Night Patrolman Albert Smith
Cripple Creek Police Department


On November 10, 1908, Night Patrolman Smith responded to a disturbance between George Goode and Bob Dalton outside the Turf Saloon. The two men were quarreling over a woman, and as Smith approached, Goode drew his gun. Smith said, "You have to stop dashing guns on the street". Goode responded, "I'll show you whether or not you can make me put up my gun." Goode then fired a fatal shot at Smith and subsequently shot himself in the head.


Officer Alexander Brighton
Trinidad Police Department


On January 20, 1909, Officer Alexandar Brighton (Trinidad) responded to a Domestic dispute at a bordello in Trinidad. Officer Brighton arrested Joe Enquine (AKA Guiseppe di Ciocotto). Enquine submitted passively and asked permission to get his hat. He stepped into another room and returned seconds later with a 38-caliber revolver and shot his wife and Officer Brighton.

Officer Brighton returned fire and hit Enquine killing him. Officer Alexandar Brighton died two days later. He was 41-years-old and survived by his wife and four children. The youngest being born just two hours before his death.


Officer Frederick Barner
Pueblo Police Department


On March 21, 1909, Officer Barner attempted to arrest two suspects thought to have committed several burglaries. After informing the two that they were going to be arrested, Barner approached the police call box to summon the patrol wagon. One of the suspects, the taller of the two, stepped back, pulled a revolver and shot Barner through the heart. Barner died instantly. The two suspects fled on foot and successfully eluded police.


Detective John Dunleavy
Pueblo Police Department


On July 21, 1909, Detective Sergeant Dunleavy was walking his daughter home at the end of his shift. He was approached by two men who began to insult his daughter. Dunleavy pulled her behind him and stepped forward. One of the men drew his gun and shot Dunleavy three times.

The detective was rushed to the hospital and lived for four days before he succumbed to his wounds. An investigation determined that Dunleavy's murder was a planned assassination by several individuals because of his police work. Three suspects were in custody but the outcome is unknown.


Marshal John M. Rennix
Town of New Castle


On November 25, 1910, Rennix was shot from a second floor hotel room as he was crossing the street. New Castle Town Marshal Bill Griffith was dismissed and jailed for selling liquor to unauthorized persons, swore revenge on his replacement, and was true to his word. 

Griffith then killed one man and wounded another in a gun battle that expended an estimated 250 rounds. After the battle ended, Griffith was found dead, though it is unknown whether he died from outside fire or he committed suicide.
Source: Garfield County Sheriff's Office.


Chief Marshal Jesse B. Craig
Night Marshal Jacob A. Kipper
Rocky Ford Police Department


On July 4, 1911, Chief Marshal Jesse B Craig Sr. and Night Marshal Jacob A. Kipper (Rocky Ford) were killed when they responded to a domestic dispute in Rocky Ford. The two officers had just returned from La Junta on the train while transporting a prisoner. They went to the Harris residence and found Bob Harris had been drinking and quarreling with his wife and his parents.

Bob Harris had been in trouble before and was known to the Marshal's. When they attempted to arrest him, a fight broke out and Harris' father, mother and wife all assisted in fighting the two Marshals'. Bob Harris ran to another room and grabbed a 44 caliber revolver and returned to the fight shooting Marshal Craig and then Marshal Kipper. Both officers staggered out of the house and collapsed in the front yard. Bob Harris ran off but was captured two days later.

Marshal Craig died on the front sidewalk. He was 59-years-old and was beginning his second term as Chief. He was survived by his wife and two children.

Marshal Kipper died 14 days later at Denver's St Joseph's Hospital. He was survived by his wife and two sons.

Robert Harris (Prisoner #8180) was convicted of Murder in the First Degree and sentenced to death. Later his sentence was commuted to life in prison. He died in the Colorado State Penitentiary on December 30, 1926.


Night Policeman Charles E. Brockman

Fort Collins Police Department
 
On December 17, 1911, Night Policeman Brockman was on foot patrol in the downtown area of Fort Collins when he came upon a victim of a stabbing. Brockman then pursued the suspect, Lawrence Garcia, on foot for a short distance. Garcia fatally wounded Brockman with a handgun as the officer attempted to arrest him. Garcia was later captured, charged and convicted for the murder of Brockman.


Policeman William McPherson
Denver Police Department

On March 9, 1912, Policeman McPherson was in the Loyd saloon in the Valverde district, when two masked men entered the saloon and opened fire on McPherson and the bar keeper, Andrew J. Loyd. McPherson was shot four times, but was able to return fire at the two assailants. McPherson was transported to the county hospital and identified two suspects as William Tullis and Sam Rizer, who had been arrested by McPherson a month earlier. Tullis and Rizer claimed they were innocent, and a question arose as to whether they were the assailants. There was a trail of blood that exited the saloon, yet neither Tullis nor Rizer had been shot.

Police questioned a man named Oscar Cook, who had been transported to St. Joseph’s hospital with an unexplained gunshot wound in his side. Cook identified Edward Seiwald as his accomplice, and after Seiwald was arrested, he confessed to the shootings of McPherson and Loyd.

Both McPherson and Loyd succumbed to their wounds. Policeman McPherson died at 8:35am, March 11, 1912.
Source: Code 109.


Norman F. Patterson 
Pueblo Constable


Constable Norman Patterson, 61, was shot and killed on Wednesday, August 6, 1913, in the Mint Saloon on North Union Avenue.  Constable Patterson worked in Justice of the Peace G. L. Seits court and served civil papers and process.  Earlier that day he had served a ‘writ of ouster’ (eviction) on Frank Dolman (or Dohlman).  Dolman was a former Pueblo police officer and a friend of Patterson’s.  In fact, Patterson recommended Dolman for a job as a night watchman for the Swift block ruins (previously burned in a major fire), and loaned Dolman a gun so he could do the night watchman job.  The house Dolman was being evicted from belonged to Max Stein, a Pueblo Police Mounted Officer.  Stein had gone to court to get Dolman evicted.  After serving the papers, Constable Patterson asked Dolman to return the loaned gun.  Dolman said he would leave it at the Mint Saloon later that day for Patterson to pick up.  Dolman also wanted Officer Stein to go to the Mint Saloon however Stein did not do so.  Patterson stopped by the saloon about 5:00 PM and Dolman was waiting for him with the gun wrapped in some papers.  Dolman apparently took the constable’s job of serving the writ personally, grabbed the gun and shot Constable Patterson thru the heart, then in the back as he fell.  He then shot himself in the head.  Patterson died almost instantly while Dolman died four hours later.  Norman F. Patterson was born on November 5, 1851 in Buffalo, Missouri and arrived in Pueblo 50 years earlier (1863) in a ‘prairie schooner’.  He was a Pueblo Police officer for several years before being elected Constable.  Patterson was survived by his wife and five children.


Night Marshal Frank Peak
Loveland Police Department

 
On July 13, 1915, Night Marshal Frank Peak was shot and killed at about 2:15am. It has been speculated that the murder was the result of a disagreement between Peak and those he had encountered in the course of performing his duties that night. His body was found on the bridge over the English Ditch on South Lincoln Avenue by sugar beet workers on their way to work. Two bullets had entered his body and one grazed his right temple. It appeared that he had dragged himself from the center of the bridge to the foot bridge at the side before he succumbed to his wounds. The case has never been solved.


Deputy Town Marshal Victor Helburg
Louisville Police Department

 
On October 28, 1915,  Deputy Town Marshal Helburg was shot and killed by fruit peddler Frank Balistrere after he requested that Balistrere purchase a license to sell goods on the street. Balistrere drew a rifle and fired two shots at Helburg. The first shot missed, but the second struck him in the head and killed him instantly. Balistrere fled and was never apprehended. Victor Helburg was the Town Clerk, Deputy Town Marshal and Justice of the Peace for the Town of Louisville.


William F. Langdon 
AT&SF Railway Police

 
AT&SF Special Agent William F. (Will) Langdon, 64, was shot and killed in the 'East Santa Fe yards' in Pueblo on December 10, 1915.  Agent Langdon contacted four trespassers or 'hobos' he had searched two of them and then called two others down from the embankment.  One hid partially behind the other when they came down and the second guy pulled out a revolver and shot at Agent Langdon.  The first round struck him in the forehead with other rounds hitting him in the chest, left arm and the abdomen.  The autopsy later determined that the head and chest wounds were both fatal shots.  The first two hobo's remained at the scene but the other two ran off to the east along the tracks, passing the tower where they were spotted by two railroad employees who followed them to a barn at 316 East Second Street.  The police were notified and Pueblo Chief Daly, Detective Grady and Patrolman McGovern searched the loft and found the two suspects.  They gave their names as Charles Lewis, 25, and Frank Williams, 39.  A further search of the loft discovered a Luger, automatic revolver and two .38 caliber revolvers along with over 200 rounds of ammunition. One 'blue steel' .38 army colt, had been fired 5 times with one round still in the chamber.  It was later determined that the real names of the pair were Joe Kitterman (AKA Lewis) and Lige Higgins (AKA Williams) who were wanted for three bank robberies in Kansas and Oklahoma.  The case went to a jury trial in February of 1916 with Kitterman being convicted of second degree murder and Higgins being convicted of voluntary manslaughter.  Special Agent Langdon had been with the AT&SF railroad for just over two years.  Previously he had been a guard at the state penitentiary in Canon City for eight years and prior to that a police officer in Pueblo.  Will Langdon had also served in the US Army and the US Navy.  He was also a volunteer during the Spanish American War and served with ‘Torres’ Rough Riders.  Will Langdon was survived by his wife, Mary, and two grown daughters.  Burial was at Mountain View Cemetery in Pueblo.  Mary received a $500.00 insurance payment and a lifetime pass on the railroad as compensation for his death in the line of duty.  She also received $30.00 a month as a widow of a veteran of the Spanish American War.


William H. Cabler

Denver Police Department


On April 21, 1916, Officer Cabler was shot and killed while pursuing two men that had attempted to rob a Burlington Northern trainman at the Denver Union Stockyards. One of the men hid near an embankment and shot Cabler off his horse near 46th and Lafayette. The two men were captured later that day and subsequently convicted in the case. Officer Cabler was a mounted officer assigned to patrol the stockyards. He was survived by his wife.


Marshal Charles P. Eyser
City of Ft. Morgan


On September 30, 1916, Marshal Eyser stopped by the Manhattan Cafe and Rooming House as part of a bootlegging investigation. At the head of a stairway, he approached John Swan and a companion, both subjects of the investigation. When he advised them that he would have to search them and their hotel room, Swan pulled out a gun and shot Eyser just below the heart. Eyser was able to return fire and wound Swan before he collapsed. Charles Eyser had been the night marshal in Ft. Morgan for the past four years.

Mrs. Godfrey Weimer was also killed in her hotel room by a stray bullet from Swan's gun. Swan was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in the State Penitentiary, but he escaped from the Morgan County Jail in 1917.
Sources: Ft. Morgan Police Department; Ft. Morgan Times.


Andrew J. Hunter 
Rio Grande Railway Police


Special Agent Andrew Hunter, 58, died on January 29, 1917 when he was struck by a train in the rail yard near 8th Ave. & Navajo Street in Denver.  Special Agent Hunter had just completed inspecting a departing freight train and allowed the long string of cars to go by before stepping across the tracks, behind the caboose.  He was then struck by the locomotive of an incoming passenger train on the adjacent track.  He died instantly under the wheels of the engine.  The train crew notified the coroner immediately after the train stopped at the scene.  Andrew J. Hunter came to Colorado from Hutchinson, Kansas in 1884 and served for several years on the Pueblo Police Department as an officer, desk sergeant and detective before resigning when appointed as Deputy State Auditor for the state of Colorado.  He returned to law enforcement when he became a special for the Rio Grande Railway Police just two years earlier (1915).  He was survived by his wife and two grown children.


Sheriff John M. McKee
Pueblo County Sheriff's Office 


Pueblo County Sheriff John M. McKee, 67, died at 11:00 a.m. on April 19, 1918 from a 'paralytic stroke' which caused almost instant death. Sheriff McKee was at work on Thursday but felt ill that evening and suffered the stroke the next morning. Sheriff McKee sustained a head injury when he and his undersheriff served a warrant on a farm 20 miles from Pueblo July 18, 1917.  The subject was reported to be violent and 'insane'. The two officers ended up fighting him before they made the arrest. During the fight both officers were kicked in the head.  McKee suffered a ruptured blood vessel in his head. As a result of the head injury, Sheriff McKee eventually lost the sight in his right eye. Several weeks before his death he had an operation in Denver but it provided little benefit. His health was noted to be impaired for several weeks before his death, which was attributed to his earlier injury.


Chief of Detectives John Rowan
Colorado Springs Police Department


On September 13, 1918, Chief of Detectives John Rowan was shot and killed after he and other officers attempted to arrest several members of the notorious Lewis-Jones Gang. He had learned that the gang was headed towards the city and was informed they were at a local gas station. As the officers arrived they were engaged in a shootout and Chief of Detectives Rowan was shot in the head.

It is thought that the same men were responsible for the murder of Denver, Colorado, Policeman Luther McMahill the following day, although the identities of Policeman McMahill's killers were never confirmed. Several of the suspects were arrested. Two others were shot and killed in Los Angeles County, California, following a shootout in which Deputy George Van Vliet, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, was shot and killed. Chief Rowan was survived by his wife and son.


Policeman Luther McMahill
Denver Police Department


On September 14, 1918 at about 3:30 a.m., Policeman Luther McMahill called in his last report and was riding his bicycle home, when he encountered a band of robbers on Colorado near 16th. When McMahill pointed his flashlight at one of the men who was in a car, the man drew a weapon and shot McMahill directly above the heart, killing him almost instantly. The car then started toward 17th and picked up another man who was running on foot.

The killers of Policeman McMahill may have been the same criminals who had killed Chief of Detectives John Rowan of the Colorado Springs Police Department only one day earlier. The identities of the killers are still unknown.
Source: Code 109.


William Wesley Green
Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office


On October 15, 1918, Deputy Green was shot and killed by an inmate escaping from the Pueblo County Jail. The inmate may have obtained the gun from his wife when she visited him in the jail and brought him a change of clothes and a basket of food. The escaped inmate was later captured, convicted and died in the state prison in Canon City. Deputy Green was survived by his wife and two children. Prior to taking the job of ‘Turnkey’ for the county, William W. Green had spent nearly 25 years as a detective for the Pueblo Police Department.


Policeman Emerson L. McKinnon
Denver Police Department


On May 14, 1919, Policeman Emerson McKinnon had responded to a fire at the city shops. He was helping two firemen with a hose line, and as they advanced into the smoke-filled city shops, McKinnon fell through an opening in an elevator shaft. He landed on a cement floor twenty feet below, causing a fracture of his skull and a double fracture of his spinal column.

At the county hospital, surgery was performed, but the injuries were too severe and McKinnon died six days later.
Source: Code 109.


Detective George C. Klein
Denver Police Department


On June 9, 1919, Detective George Klein led a raid on a bootleg ring near West 40th and Pecos. Klein was the head of the bootleg squad. During the raid, he accidentally shot and killed a 24 year old man when he stumbled and his weapon discharged. The Italian community was outraged. Klein was tried and released on bail. He returned to work, but in the early morning of August 20, 1919, he was ambushed in front of his house. He was taken to the county hospital with nine bullet wounds, but he only survived for a short time.

No one was ever apprehended for the murder of Detective Klein, but reports indicate that it was bootleg related. Klein's murder is considered to be the first bootleg killing in the United States.
Source: Code 109. 


Patrolman Jeff Evans
Pueblo Police Department

 
On September 13, 1919 in the early morning hours, Patrolman Evans was patrolling his beat when a man stepped out of the darkness and shot him in the head and shoulder. Evans died instantly. Two men were later arrested and charged with murder, but before the men could be tried, they were lynched by a mob of townspeople in retaliation for the murder of Evans.


Policeman James E. Boggio
Denver Police Department


On January 6, 1920, a team of four Denver Police officers was searching a residence on West 46th Street for Adrian P. Thompson, who was wanted in Adams County for tools theft. The team consisted of Policemen James Boggio and D. Chuven, along with Detective G. Schneider and Sergeant J. M. Barry.

Boggio, Chuven and Barry had left the house, when Schneider called for them to return. Chuven entered the kitchen and was attacked by Thompson's mother, who beat him with a fireplace bar. Boggio followed Chuven into the kitchen and was shot three times by Thompson, who was hiding in a stairwell. Barry and Schneider returned Thompson's fire, killing him, but receiving wounds in the process.

Boggio died of his wounds at County Hospital on January 8th. At 25, he was the youngest member of the Denver Police Department.


Chief L. P. Bass
Boulder Police Department


On March 18, 1920, Bass and five other people were responding to a fire in Boulder's first police car, a two-day old Buick. Among those in the car were Boulder County Under sheriff William Stretcher and 16-year old Joe D. Salter At the corner of 19th and Pearl, the police car collided with the city's first fire truck. Bass, Stretcher and Salter died as a result of the accident. Lawrence (L. P.) Bass was Boulder's first Chief of Police, and the first Boulder police officer to die in the line of duty. 


Undersheriff William Stretcher
Boulder County Sheriff's Office

 
On March 18, 1920, Undersheriff Stretcher, along with Boulder Police Chief Lawrence (L. P.) Bass, Boulder Fire Chief Emil Johnson, Joe D. Salter (16 year old son of City Manager W. D. Salter), William W. McAllister (an ex-fire chief) and Lester DeBacker (realtor and prominent Rotarian) were responding to a fire in a Boulder police car driven by Fire Chief Johnson. The car collided with a fire truck, which caused the vehicle to catapult in the air and roll over several times. Bass and Salter died at the scene of the accident. Stretcher died four days later from a fractured skull, sustained in the accident.


Night Marshal Harvey Calvin Neese
Cripple Creek Police Department

 
On July 3, 1920, shortly after 2:00 a.m., Night Marshal Cal Neese received a report that William Sloan (or Sloane) had obtained a quantity of liquor and had expressed that he was prepared to shoot up the town and had hit another man over the head with his gun. Night Marshal Neese responded to make the arrest and upon approaching Sloan on Bennett Avenue, advised him that he was under arrest. Sloan immediately turned, drew his weapon and fired twice at Marshal Neese, with one shot striking him through the lung near the heart. The mortally wounded Marshal was able to grab Sloan's .45 revolver before collapsing in the street. Night Marshal Harvey Calvin Neese died about seven hours later at Sisters Hospital.
 
William Sloan, 38, was immediately arrested and subsequently charged with first degree murder. He was reported to be under the influence of intoxicants when the shooting occurred. Sloan was employed as a firefighter for the city of Cripple Creek at that time. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in the State Penitentiary at Canon City, arriving December 1, 1920. His inmate number was 11125. His sentence was commuted by Governor Ed Johnson to a term that would allow for his release on parole April 1, 1934. Sloan was paroled May 5, 1934. He died July 31, 1940. Sloan had been befriended by the Neese brothers when they worked at the mines and was considered a friend of Marshal Neese.
 
Cal and three of his brothers had moved from Coffee County, Tennessee to Cripple Creek in the mid 1890's and worked in the mines there. Two of the brothers moved on west about 10 years later but Cal and his brother Art remained in Colorado while Art owned a dry goods business in Denver. Cal was born May 15, 1866 in Armstrong County, PA. He was married in 1907 but was single at the time of his death. Cal was appointed Night Marshal in Cripple Creek on April 25, 1911. He was being paid $55.00 a month at the time of his death. Harvey Calvin Neese was buried July 7, 1920 in Crown Hill Cemetery in Denver. He was survived by numerous siblings, nieces and nephews.
 
A Neese family legend had it that Art visited Sloan at the Cripple Creek jail shortly after the murder. He promised to kill him if her ever got out of jail. Art was very upset with the early release of Sloan in 1934 and was waiting for him outside the prison, complete with two pistols, just as he had promised he would be. Sloan refused to draw on him and refused to pick up a pistol. Art was 65 years old at the time and had severe arthritis. He dropped his gun and both men ended up in tears over a senseless act years before. Art Neese died May 2, 1942.


Patrolman Addison O. Hinsdale Jr.
Pueblo Police Department

 
On October 3, 1920, Patrolman Hinsdale was accidentally shot by a fellow officer who was shooting at a hit and run driver. Patrolman Hinsdale succumbed to his wounds the next day. The driver of the car was later arrested.


Special Officer Roy O. Downing
Denver Police Department


On December 1, 1920, about 3 a.m., Special Officer Roy Downing, 23, was shot and killed when he interrupted a burglary in progress at a home at 2308 Bellaire Street. Officer Downing was on foot patrol in this Park Hill Neighborhood when he observed an open coal chute window at the house of S. J. Sullivan. Downing knew the occupants of the home so he came near the back door and called out twice for Mr. Sullivan. In less than a minute several shots rang out and Officer Downing crumpled to the ground with one bullet in his chest and one in the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The burglar escaped. Officer Downing was armed with “an old style Colt’s .38-.40 with single action,” which he never had a chance to use.

The killer of Officer Downing was escaped but later investigation linked this case to an organized gang of robbers that operated in Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and Minnesota. Several members of this gang were arrested in April of 1921 and charged with the $23,000.00 robbery of the Union Stockyards bank messengers. The same gang may have been responsible for the April 8, 1921 death of Fountain Police Officer John Lindamood.

Officer Roy Olden Downing was born on November, 22, 1897 and lived at 1674 St. Paul St. He had been employed as a Special Officer for over a year and was wearing ‘Police Star #526’ at the time of his death. He was buried at Crown Hill Cemetery and survived by his wife, Oradine.


Deputy William O. Steam
Denver Police Department


On February 18, 1921, at 8:20 p.m., Special Officer William O. Steam was shot and killed by Keil O'Neill (aka Lee Williams). The shooting took place at the Negro dance hall at 2128 Arapahoe Street. Officer Steam had, just the previous week, been part of a group of Denver officers that broke up a dance organized by O'Neill. O'Neill's request for a license (or permit) to hold the dance at 21st and Blake had been refused but O'Neill held it anyway until Denver PD closed it down. O'Neill blamed Steam for this action and stated that he lost a lot of money because the dance hall was shut down.

Officer Steam was a black officer assigned to that part of town. At the time of the shooting he was in uniform and wearing his gun while playing a game of cards in the dance hall. O'Neill had made threats against Officer Steam the previous day and entered the dance hall that evening to carry out his threat. O'Neill is quoted as saying “Steam, I've come to get you”. As Steam turned in his chair to see who was speaking, a bullet struck him in the back just below the right shoulder then as he fell to the floor he was shot in the head just above the right ear killing him instantly. O'Neill then fled the place and ran down Arapahoe Street. A police surgeon and several squads of officers responded to the dance hall. Twenty officers were assigned to search for O'Neill on Saturday and he was captured without incident at a rooming house at 2341 Blake Street about 3PM.

O'Neill confessed to shooting Officer Steam and said it was because of the dance being closed down the previous Saturday and because “Steam had been riding him” and told him to get out of town. It was reported that O'Neill (aka Williams) was an ex-con that had been serving time in Huntsville, TX when he escaped in 1914. Another story is that O'Neill was afraid that Steam would arrest him for that warrant.

Steam had been connected with police headquarters for a number of years and because of his wide acquaintance in the negro section of the city frequently was assigned to bring in some member of his race sought by the police. The Denver police chief stated that Officer Steam's record with the department was enviable. “He was one of the most dependable and efficient men connected with the department. He occupied a place on the force that was unique and getting another man to fill it in the manner which Steam did, will be hard,” the chief said. Several years earlier Steam had been shot and wounded by a man named Berry, “a colored desperado”, while Steam was attempting to arrest him.

The Denver city council voted to approve $125.00 to pay for the funeral of Officer Steam, upon request of Mayor Bailey. Steam also served as a custodian/night watchman at city hall. His duties, reflective of the segregation of the times, was assignment to a beat which primarily included the black dance hall saloons, and other businesses which were primarily frequented by black patrons. His duties at City Hall would be to secure the building, monitor the old coal heated boilers for heating, as well as watch for fires or gas leaks, from lamps and other early 20th century appliances.

Special Officer William O. Steam is listed as far back as 1910 in the handwritten records as a police officer. He also served in WWI. He is listed in newspaper accounts as being 48 years old having been born on October 28, 1873. However his draft records from WWI show his birth year as 1875. His funeral was held on February 23, 1921 with burial at Riverside Cemetery. He was survived by his wife Mamie. Keil O'Neill, age 39, (prisoner # 11469) was convicted of Murder and sentenced to life in prison. He was released on parole December 17, 1935 when his sentence was commuted by Gov Johnson. O'Neill died in Las Vegas, Nevada, from a heart attack, on April 10, 1959.


Policeman Forrest Ross
Policeman Clarence E. Zeitz
Denver Police Department


April 2, 1921 was surely one of the worst days in the history of the Denver Police Department. Within a few minutes on that date, two officers received fatal injuries and 15 other people were injured in two separate, but disturbingly similar accidents.

Policeman Forrest Ross was responding in a police "riot car" to a reported holdup at 13th and Broadway. As he attempted to turn onto Bannock from 14th, he swerved to avoid traffic, struck a curb, rolled the car three times and came to rest against a telephone pole.

A few minutes later, another "riot car" was responding to Ross's accident, using lights and siren. Inside the car were Policeman Clarence Zeitz, Policeman Sales (who was driving) and three newspaper reporters in the back seat. At 14th and Tremont, the police car collided with a touring car, rolled over and came to rest on its top.

In the first accident, Ross and two other policemen were injured and taken to area hospitals. Ross died two days later at St. Anthony's Hospital. In the second accident, Policeman Zeitz was killed instantly, and thirteen other people (including several pedestrians) were injured in the collision.
Source: Code 109.


Night Marshal John Henry Lindamood

Fountain Police Department

 
On April 8, 1921, at about 1:30 a.m., Marshal Lindamood was shot and killed, apparently by a group that intended to rob the Fountain National Bank. It appeared that Lindamood followed one suspect down the street and tried to talk to him, but was shot once in the heart from the shadows. The suspects escaped but left behind some of their tools and a shotgun. Lindamood's body was not discovered until 6:00am by two people driving through town to Pueblo. The murder remains unsolved.


Policeman Arthur J. Pinkerton
Denver Police Department


On May 30, 1921, Policeman Arthur Pinkerton was found unconscious near a fallen arc light at 37th and Marion. He was taken to Denver County Hospital, suffering from electrical shock, but died the morning of May 31, 1921 with out regaining consciousness. It is presumed that he tried to move the arc light out of the way of passing pedestrians.
Source: Code 109


Clyde McDonald
Monte Vista Police Department


On December 10, 1921, Officer McDonald was shot and subsequently died from his injuries two days later on December 12, 1921. Night Marshal McDonald has arrested a man for disturbing the peace and drunkenness in a pool hall in Monte Vista and was walking him to jail when the man pulled a gun and shot Marshal McDonald. The suspect was captured on December 14th, and after conviction was sentenced to the state prison in Canon City.


Deputy Blaine J. Wilson

Logan County Sheriff's Office

 
On May 22, 1922, Deputy Wilson attempted to arrest four men for selling bootleg whiskey. As he did so, Wilson was shot once by Clarence Waters and fell to the floor. One of the other men, Guy Bray, took Wilson's gun and shot him a second time in the chest near the heart. Wilson lived long enough to tell other officers what happened and who his two assailants were. He died in the early morning hours of May 23, 1922 on the way to the hospital. Wilson had been a deputy for only three weeks.


Colorado Ranger Eddie Bell
Colorado Rangers

 
On October 14, 1922, Colorado Rangers Bell and George O. Jennings received an anonymous call about a robbery that was about to happen. The two jumped on their motorcycle (with sidecar) and responded to the area where the suspects were believed to be. A little while later, passersby found the two men beaten and unconscious. It is theorized that they were run off the road, beaten and their wallets and revolvers stolen. Both of the men had multiple and massive injuries. Bell underwent surgery, but died on October 16, 1922 before regaining consciousness.


Policeman Richie Rose
Denver Police Department


On October 31, 1922, Policeman Richie Rose stopped at his house between 1:30 and 2:00am to have breakfast with his wife. He said his goodbyes and headed toward the call box at 41st and Lipan, just northwest of his home. After he walked through a vacant lot and crossed 38th, Rose saw a darkened car parked in the middle of the street. As he approached the car, several shots rang out from the vehicle. Rose ran behind a power pole near the alley and returned fire at the car. From behind some railroad ties in the alley, two other men shot at Rose, hitting him. As he lay unconscious, the unknown assailants took Rose's gun and fired all of the bullets into his body. Rose was then carried to a tavern at 38th and Lipan. Police and an ambulance responded 1½ hours later, but by then he had died. His last words were, "Mafia, Mafia, Mafia". 

The killers are unknown, but it was suspected that Rose was ambushed by bootleggers.
Source: Code 109


Deputy Sheriff Leonard Higgins

Adams County Sheriff's Department

 
On October 11, 1923, Deputy Sheriff Higgins, while riding his motorcycle in the rain, ran into a beet truck and was thrown into the road. Higgins was knocked unconscious, and while lying in the road, he was run over by a car and then a heavy truck. He was transported to the hospital, but died soon after from a skull fracture and a crushed chest.


Patrolman Elmer E. Cobb
Boulder Police Department


On November 19, 1923, at 5:00 a.m., Patrolman Elmer Cobb left his home to begin his 6:00 shift at Police Headquarters, just six blocks away. Cobb never made it to work, that day. He was murdered behind a billboard at Ninth and Pearl Streets by an unknown assailant. The assailant struck Cobb on the head and then shot him in the head, execution style.

The investigation of Cobb's murder was clouded by Prohibition, payoffs and the city politics of the day; the crime was never solved.

1924-1959

Jack Rose and Henry Robart

Walsenburg Police/State Prohibition


On January 15, 1924, Walsenburg Police Chief Jack Rose, 27, and State Prohibition Officer Henry E. Robart, 38, were both shot and killed while serving a search warrant for an illegal still at a residence in Walsenburg. They were ambushed upon entry by a subject that then fled the scene. The suspect was located at a rural ranch three days later but committed suicide, with the same gun he used to kill the officers, prior to being captured. Chief Rose was a veteran of the ‘Great War’ and had been gassed in the trenches just a month prior to the end of the war. He had been Chief for 8 months at the time of his death. Officer Robart was a former construction worker and had been a prohibition officer for just 4 months before his death. Each officer was survived by his wife and three childre


Sheriff Willis A. Davis
Delta County

On October 18, 1924, Sheriff Davis came upon Woldene Allentharp, who was wanted on three warrants. He exchanged some friendly words and told Allentharp he was under arrest. Allentharp asked if he could get his sweater, then stood up and leveled a .45 at Davis, declaring that he would never go alive. When Davis attempted to draw his gun, Allentharp fired three shots at him. Two shots went wild and the third hit Davis in the abdomen. When Allentharp saw what he had done, he dropped his gun and cried, "Don't shoot! I'll give up!" Davis fired two shots, but both missed.

Davis was rushed to the hospital for surgery, but he died a day later.
Source: Delta Independent.


Policeman James Shannon
Denver Police Department

On April 4, 1925, Policeman James Shannon was on his beat at 34th and Williams, shortly after 11:00 p.m. As Shannon was attempting to place Alfred Dorchak under arrest, he was shot in the left side upward into the heart. Dorchak then stole a car and fled. Shannon was found dead on the sidewalk at 11:15pm. He had died almost instantly.

Dorchak was arrested a short time later for the killing. He admitted to the shooting, but said he didn't know he had killed the officer. On April 29, 1925, Alfred Dorchak was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Policeman Shannon.
Source: Code 109.


Agent Clyde L. Taylor
U. S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

Agent Clyde L. Taylor suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after being involved in a shooting, and subsequent arrest, of a moonshiner in Leadville.  This occurred at 121 W. 5th St when Agent Taylor and two other agents raided the house looking for moonshine.  While Taylor was searching the house the occupant, John Ritchie, went into another room and loaded a shotgun.  Taylor entered the room and attempted to take the shotgun from Ritchie.  During the struggle the shotgun went off into the ceiling of the home.  The other agents responded then the officers went outside to check the outbuildings but Agent Taylor collapsed on the lawn.  He was pronounced dead there by a local doctor.  The Dr. stated that Agent Taylor died of heart disease affected by the excitement of the situation on May 11, 1925.


Patrolman Elmer I. Rich
Denver Police Department

On March 23, 1927, Patrolman Rich responded to a domestic disturbance call at 3511 Jason. The dispute was between Eulopio Veltran and his wife Marie. As Rich entered the house through the back door, Eulopio opened fire on him. Marie tried to make her husband stop, and when he didn't, she jumped between them and took a bullet in the right breast. She fell to the floor and Eulopio shot again at Rich, hitting him in the right temple and the left chest, and killing him instantly. Eulopio then walked to the living room and turned the gun on himself.
Source: Code 109.


Town Marshal Clem Eller

Oak Creek Police Department

 
On November 5, 1927, Marshal Eller was called to the Oak Creek school house, where a dance was being held, on a report that W. R. M. Sullivan was engaged in bootlegging and possibly drunk. As the Marshal approached Sullivan, he fired one shot that struck Eller in the waist and passed through a kidney. Eller was rushed to the local hospital, but he died late Sunday, November 6.
 
Sullivan escaped but was captured by Deputies Andrew Black and Myron Donald the next day. A coroner's inquest on November 8 found that Sullivan caused the death of Marshal Eller. The District Court case against Sullivan began on November 16 and concluded the next day when the jury found him guilty. Sullivan was sentenced to life imprisonment on November 17. This is one case where justice was swift!


Night Marshal Charles Pebley

Delta Police Department

 
On July 14, 1928, Acting Night Marshal Pebley was out patrolling. He was in the area of Second and Meeker when shots were heard by J. E. Moore, who lived by the intersection. Moore looked out a second floor window and saw three men standing over a man lying on the sidewalk. He heard one of the men say the man on the sidewalk was dead and they should get out of there. Another shot was fired and the men ran across the street.
 
Moore called for the night marshal, but the operator could not locate him. He called Sheriff Vanaken, who responded to the scene and discovered that the man on the sidewalk was Night Marshal Pebley. Bloodhounds were called to search for the murderers, but the killers have never been apprehended.


Patrolman Harry R. Ohle
Denver Police Department

On November 22, 1928, Patrolmen Harry Ohle and R. K. Evans were searching a residence at 2233 Curtis, acting on a tip that illegal alcohol was being dispensed at this location. After searching the lower level, the patrolmen, accompanied by the house matron, Louvenia Reese, went upstairs. As they opened a door and entered a darkened room, three shots rang out, striking all three. Ohle died instantly, a bullet through his heart.

The shots were fired by Eddie Ives, who had just robbed a nearby liquor store and thought the police were looking for him. Ives, who weighed only 80 pounds, was captured, tried and convicted. His sentence of death by hanging was carried out at Canon City on November 11, 1930, but only after several unsuccessful attempts. Thereafter, the State of Colorado switched to lethal gas for its executions.


Deputy Charles E Gibbs

Routt County Sheriff's Office

 
On March 21, 1929, Routt County Deputy Charles E. Gibbs died in a snow slide while serving 'papers of ejectment' at the Block coal mine, 22 miles NW of Steamboat Springs. He had taken a team (horses and wagon) to the Mosher ranch and was walking the last two miles to the mine when a snow slide engulfed him. A search from the ranch was begun when he failed to return and he was found standing upright with about 5' of snow covering him. He was survived by his wife and six children.


Patrolman Clarence W. Alston
Denver Police Department

On March 24, 1929, Patrolman Alston was walking his beat shortly before 11:00 p.m. when he saw two men pulling another man out of his car at the intersection of Colfax and Broadway. Alston ran to the vehicle, stuck his head inside and demanded to know what was going on. Two shots were fired and Alston fell to the street, shot through the chest and in the leg. He was rushed to Denver General Hospital and died an hour later.

One of the suspects, William Marshall, was arrested as he boarded a streetcar. The second suspect was found in his hotel room closet, shot through the head by his own gun.
Source: Code 109.


Deputy Sheriff Coral A. Hickman
Kiowa County

On March 14, 1930, Deputy Hickman and William Mosher saw a vehicle that matched the description of a vehicle used in a recent robbery. Hickman followed the vehicle as it turned a corner, sped up and then stopped as if to look at the tires. As Hickman caught up with the vehicle, three bandits, armed with rifles and "six" guns, jumped out and headed for Hickman's car. The bandits opened fire and Hickman was shot six times. The bandits fled and were apprehended two miles south of Jetmore, Kansas.
Source: Kiowa County Press.


Sheriff William B. Justice
Washington County

On June 17, 1930, Sheriff William Justice and Akron Night Marshal George McGruder were in the Burlington Railroad yards in Akron, searching for a hobo who had earlier caused a disturbance in town. At about 8:35, the two men were standing on a side track, watching an incoming freight train from the east, and failed to see a switch engine backing up from the west.

McGruder saw the engine first and jumped off the track as he called to the Sheriff. But Justice was struck by the tender and thrown beneath the train. He was removed from the tracks and taken to the Ft. Morgan hospital, where he later died from his injuries.


Agent Dale F. Kearney
U. S. Department of Justice

On July 3, 1930, Agent Kearney received an anonymous call warning him to leave certain bootleg places in Aguilar and Trinidad alone. Two days later, on Saturday evening, July 5, 1930, he was summoned from his house and followed a vehicle from Trinidad to Aguilar. Kearney's car overheated, so he stopped at the Aguilar Motor Co. shortly before midnight. J. G. Lile found a loose coupling on the oil line, which caused the car to overheat. Lile went into the Alpine Rose Cafe, called for a tow truck and ate a sandwich. At about midnight, he started to return to his vehicle. Shortly after that, shots were heard and Kearney's dead body was found with 16 bullet wounds. The murderers are unknown, but thought to be bootleggers that Kearney was investigating.
Source: The Walsenburg-Huerfano World.


Patrolman William Keating
Denver Police Department

On August 31, 1931, Patrolman Keating was checking in at 4:30am from the call box in front of the McCarty-Sherman showrooms, while two youths, Donald Ray and William Piskoty, were inside attempting to open the safe. The youths saw Keating and assumed that he saw them. They ran and broke a window, forgetting they had opened the door. In their haste, they left some keys behind. Keating heard the noise and went to investigate. He tried the garage doors and found the alley entrance unlocked. He went in and searched for intruders.

An hour later, thinking the patrolman had left, Ray and Piskoty returned to find their keys. When Keating saw them enter, he ordered both to put up their hands. They told Keating they were tourists, their car had broken down, and they thought someone could help them repair their car. Keating told them they were under arrest and walked with them toward the call box. On the way, he asked Piskoty for a driver's license. Ray dropped his hands and said he had one, but he turned around with a .38 automatic and fired at Keating. The two ran, turned and fired again.

Keating was raced to Denver General Hospital and was able to give a description of the two before he died. The two suspects were arrested, confessed to the murder of Patrolman Keating and were sentenced to 65 years to life imprisonment.
Source: Code 109.


Detective John F. Dea
Detective George P. Schneider
Denver Police Department

February 11, 1933 became a day of terror for the 100 or so people at the Colorado Auction Company in downtown Denver. When proprietor Henry Zelinger received $20 worth of tools on consignment from Gay Rice, he became suspicious and notified the police, after telling Rice to return at 2pm. At the appointed time, Rice was met by Detectives John Dea and George Schneider, who asked him to step through a door and away from the people in the auction gallery.

The detectives did not know that Rice had been previously arrested for carrying concealed weapons and was regarded as a "mental defective" for some threats he had made against the police. As Rice went through the door, he drew a gun from his pocket and shot Dea twice, dropping him immediately. He then turned and shot Schneider twice. After Schneider fell, Rice stood over him and fired five more rounds into his body. Rice then ran amok in the auction gallery, firing at people, walls, windows and cars outside. After Rice had fired nearly 50 rounds, he moved close enough to the wounded Dea that the detective was able to fire four rounds, missing three times and finally hitting Rice once in the forehead.

In the aftermath, Schneider was dead almost immediately, three of the gallery patrons were injured (one later died), Rice died about an hour after the incident, and Dea died about 6pm, but not before explaining what had happened.


Patrolman Clarence E. Fraker
Patrolman John J. O'Donnell
Denver Police Department

On March 23, 1934, Radio Patrolmen Clarence E. Fraker and John J. O'Donnell were fatally injured when they were involved in a two-car crash at 25th & Marion Street.  Officer O'Donnell was driving west bound on 25th Avenue with his lights and siren on when a car driven by Wallace Keck of Aurora, who was N/B on Marion Street, struck the left front of the patrol car which was knocked 20' and overturned.  O'Donnell died from a fractured skull at 8:58 PM, without regaining consciousness, several hours after the crash at Denver General Hospital.  Officer Fraker was pulled from under the patrol car by spectators and taken to Presbyterian Hospital where he died at 7 AM the next day.  Wallace Keck was charged with Manslaughter in the death of the two officers. Officer O'Donnell was interred at Mount Olivet Cemetery.  Officer Fraker was interred at Crown Hill Cemetery.
Source: Code 109.


Sheriff Adolpho Rodrigues
Costilla County

On January 1, 1934, Sheriff Rodrigues and Undersheriff J. P. Mestes were investigating a robbery and had set up a roadblock. Two miners, Herbert Rankin and George Putnam, drove around the roadblock in their van because they knew they were not guilty of any crime. The officers fired a few shots at the van and Rankin and Putnam returned fire. Rankin and Putnam drove to a pool hall and Rodrigues and Mestes followed. When the two officers entered the pool hall, the miners opened fire. Sheriff Rodrigues was hit and died a few minutes later. Mestes was hit in the arm and never fully recovered.
Source: "Reflections - Sheriffs of bygone days".


Patrolman Thomas J. O'Connor
Denver Police Department

On March 5, 1934, Patrolman O'Connor was crossing the street with his wife when an automobile struck them. O'Connor's wife, Lila J. O'Connor, suffered a compound fracture of the right leg and possible internal injuries. She was taken to Mercy Hospital and survived. Patrolman O'Connor died almost instantly from a skull fracture and a compound fracture of the right leg.
Source: Code 109.


Officer Lee S. Whitman
Greeley Police Department

On July 24, 1934, Officer Whitman was assigned to the complaint desk and prisoner booking area. Late in the night, another officer brought a suspect, Jack Prince, in for booking. The arresting officer went back on patrol, leaving Prince alone with Officer Whitman. Prince pulled a .38 caliber revolver from his boot and shot and killed Whitman.
Source: Greeley Police Department.


Kenneth Meenan

National Park Service


On August 13, 1934, National Park Service Ranger Kenneth Meenan, 22, died from injuries he received in a motor vehicle crash on August 5, 1934. Seasonal Ranger Meenan was driving his NPS motorcycle north from the Grand Lake entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park when he was involved in a collision with a car. His left foot was nearly crushed and even amputating his leg failed to stop the septic poisoning. Ranger Meenan was from Oak Park, Illinois and starred in Football at Northwestern University.


Night Policeman Chris J. Fahey

Leadville Police Department

 
On October 6, 1934, Policeman Fahey and Captain Martin Skala, along with three other passengers, were searching for a stolen vehicle. During the search, their car collided with another vehicle and Fahey was ejected from the vehicle along with one other passenger. Fahey died soon after he reached the hospital. Skala and the other passengers were in critical condition, but survived.


Patrolman Alson C. McCasland
Denver Police Department

On April 13, 1935, Patrolman McCasland was traveling east on a motorcycle. At East 19th and Clarkson, his motorcycle struck a car driven by Miss Muriel Painter. The motorcycle overturned and McCasland suffered a fractured left arm, brain concussion and numerous cuts. He died from complications on May 28, 1935.
Source: Code 109.


Special Duty Deputy Alfred A. Personett
Prowers County Sheriff

Prowers County Special Deputy Alfred A. Personett, 55, was shot and killed on June 7, 1935 in Granada, Colorado. Deputy Personett was notified of male subject acting strange and attempting to gain entry to a residence above a garage in Granada at 3:30 in the afternoon. Personett responded and asked the person to come down the stairs, which the they did. Deputy Personett observed a .45 Colt under the subjects jacket and took it away from the subject, who responded by drawing another revolver from his pocket and shooting the deputy 3 times. Personett was able to strike the suspect on the head with the .45 revolver as he fell. A former deputy observed this, tackled the subject and held him until other officers arrived from Lamar. Deputy Personett died within 10 minutes.


Sheriff W. W. Dunlap
Montezuma County

On July 15, 1935, Sheriff Dunlap was transporting two murder suspects from Glenwood Springs to Cortez for trial. The suspects were brothers Otis and Herbert McDaniels. Four miles east of Placerville in San Miguel County, the suspects overpowered Dunlap and shot him.

Otis McDaniels paid for his crime on February 14, 1936 in the gas chamber at Canon City. Herbert McDaniels received a sentence of life in prison.
Source: Montezuma County Sheriff's Office.


Detective Pasquale Marinaro
Denver Police Department

On April 17, 1936, shortly after 9:00 p.m., Detective Marinaro and other Denver Police detectives entered an apartment building at 335 23rd St. They were looking for Amos Hayhurst, who was wanted by police for the murder of Joseph Dicker at the home of Hayhurst's ex-wife Edna. Hayhurst had originally planned to kill his ex-wife and himself.

Marinaro entered an apartment rented by Mr. and Mrs. Fisher to search for Hayhurst. When Marinaro walked into the kitchen, Hayhurst opened fire with his gun and the first bullet struck the detective. Marinaro fired two shots, one of which hit Hayhurst in the hip. When Hayhurst knew he couldn't escape he shot and killed himself. Marinaro died of a bullet wound to the heart in an ambulance on the way to the Denver General Hospital.
Source: Code 109.


Patrolman Forrest E. Sawyer
Denver Police Department

On March 8, 1937, a liquor-maddened man, Fred Stallings, threatened his twin brother. After he left his brother's house, he ordered his wife to drive through a red light and into a parked car. When she refused, he pulled out his gun and threatened to kill her. He then took the wheel himself and drove to his home.

He called the police station and requested two officers to come and arrest him because he was crazy. His intention was to kill them. Patrolman Sawyer and Patrolman Carroll, a rookie, responded and approached the house. Stallings swung the door open and opened fire. He shot Sawyer near the heart and Carroll in the chest. Sawyer stumbled to the driveway, collapsed and died. Carroll was able to get to a gas station and call police.

Soon after, bystanders heard another shot as Stallings committed suicide.
Source: Code 109.


Deputy Oscar W. Meyer

Eagle County

 
On November 2, 1937, Deputy Meyer was notified that Jim Sherbondy, age 17, was seen leaving Red Cliff with his family. Sherbondy was a suspect in an armed robbery in Chicago. Deputy Meyer, who lived in Red Cliff, followed the family and caught up with their pickup just west of Tennessee Pass. When Meyer forced the pickup to a stop, Sherbondy exited the vehicle with a gun and shot Meyer twice in the chest. Sherbondy fled in Meyer's vehicle, but was captured three weeks later in Hastings, Nebraska.
 
Sherbondy was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. In October 1969, he walked away from a prison honor camp and was subsequently killed in a shootout with Denver police officers on November 28, 1969.


Patrolman Jacob G. Benner

Denver Police Department

 
On November 6, 1937, Patrolman Jacob G. Benner, 28, was injured during a gambling raid at 3142 Osage Street. He was assisting Detectives Sam Finnie and J. H. Wells in this raid as they were responding to a report that illegal gambling was going on. Thirteen people were arrested at this location. Police said the men were “shooting craps”.
 
Officer Benner jumped on a table in the raid and his left foot went through the top of the table. His leg injury wasn't believed to be serious and he continued to work until November 27 and went to the hospital on December 3. A blood vessel had been ruptured and blood poisoning had set in. Officer Benner died on Monday, February 14, 1938 at St. Anthony's Hospital as a result of this injury.
 
Patrolman Benner was born July 7, 1909 and joined the Denver Police Department on January 1, 1936. He was survived by his wife Sally, his parents and nine siblings and is buried at Fairmount cemetery.


Chief Deputy Fidel Aguirre

Huerfano County Sheriff's Office

 
On Friday, May 13, 1938, the owner of a dance hall in Gardner requested security for a dance scheduled for the next evening (May 14) from 7-9 p.m. The deputy that normally worked this type of event was off so Chief Deputy Fidel Aguirre got the job. This was an extra-duty assignment for which Deputy Aguirre was to be paid $2.75. The Peralta brothers (Pete, 31 and Paul, 26) were in attendance and had been drinking. Somehow Deputy Aguirre was lured outside by one of the brothers and the other was waiting there. He was severely beaten suffering a skull fracture, broken jaw and a large gash to his throat. It is believed that they used on old fence post with a large spike in one end. Deputy Aguirre died about 3 PM, on Sunday, May 15, without regaining consciousness. The Peralta brothers were captured at their home in Farisita (near Gardner) on May 16. Investigation determined that Deputy Aguirre had previously cited the Peralta brothers for rustling sheep several weeks before.
 
The trial of the Peralta's began on October 4, 1938 and concluded with their conviction for 'Murder in the First Degree' on October 7. Witnesses established that the brothers were drunk that night and they were also seen fleeing from the scene. An eyewitness stated that he saw Paul strike Aguirre with the post and pleaded with him not to strike the deputy again. The FBI was called in to examine the fence post and clothing and linked the brothers to the crime scene. Both brothers testified, admitted that they knew Deputy Aguirre but they denied knowing he would be at the dance. Paul said he was too drunk to remember what happened. Pete denied the killing. Both were sentenced to life in prison at hard labor.
 
Deputy Aguirre was survived by his wife and eight children. He was also serving on the Huerfano County High School Board at the time of his death. A fund set up to help the family raised $300.00. Pablo (Paul) Peralta, inmate #20668, and Placedes (Pete) Peralta, #20669, had their sentences commuted by Governor Walter Johnson to '35 years to life' on January 8, 1951. Paul Peralta died in prison on October 9, 1951 of respiratory cardiac failure. Pete was paroled on August 11, 1954 and was discharged from parole on June 15, 1966.


Detective Fred Renovato
Denver Police Department

On October 13, 1938, City Detective Renovato was informed of a crazed man named Joe Coats who was dragging a woman named Virginia Garcia by the hair from her apartment. Renovato exited his car in front of a home at 1221 22nd St. and Coats immediately opened fire on him. Renovato was shot four times, once each in the neck, shoulder, leg, and heart. Coats turned the gun on Garcia and pulled the trigger three times, but the weapon never discharged. He then escaped. Renovato was able to lift himself and fire five times, but he missed.

All available officers were called out to search for Coats and given orders to shoot to kill. Renovato was transported to Denver General Hospital but died enroute.

Coats was apprehended, tried and convicted for the murder of Detective Renovato. He was sentenced to death and was executed on January 10, 1939.
Source: Code 109.


Marshal Franklynn Dean

Mancos Police Department

 
On the October 9, 1939, Marshal Dean asked townsman Jim Stevens to go home for the night because he had been drinking and was getting rowdy. Stevens went home but returned later and informed several townspeople that he had a gun. The townspeople then warned Marshal Dean about the weapon.
 
Dean located Stevens and was attempting to secure him in the "cooler" for the night, but as Dean was unlocking the padlock on the jail cell, Stevens struck him in the right side of the head. Stevens then took Dean's revolver and shot him in the head, killing him instantly. Jim Stevens was charged with first degree murder and sentenced to the death penalty.


Deputy Raymundo Martinez
Conejos County Sheriff's Office

Conejos County Deputy Raymundo Martinez, 55, was shot and killed on the evening of April 10, 1940 about 12 miles south of Monte Vista. Deputy Martinez, with two other men, contacted a suspect on the Gunbarrel highway. The suspect was with his wife and an adult son. A gunfight broke out which resulted in the deaths of everybody except the suspect. Deputy Martinez and two men died at the scene while the suspects wife and son died in the Monte Vista Hospital. The suspect was charged, convicted, then acquitted in a subsequent trial.


Chief Morris Dolan

Cripple Creek Police and Fire Departments

 
On August 23, 1940, Chief Morris Dolan, 30, was killed in an arson fire at the Weiner Building in Cripple Creek early in the morning. Dolan was notified of the fire about 2a.m. by a telephone alarm and responded to the rooming house on Bennett Avenue. He observed smoke and flames coming from the windows, sent for 'gas masks', and then entered the building wearing a gas mask. When he didn't reappear Victor Fire Chief Armour Olson and Firefighter June Hack, put on their masks, then went in several times before finally finding Dolan unconscious on the second floor. He died soon after reaching the Cripple Creek hospital. Glen Rogers, Cripple Creek Night Marshal, was overcome by smoke at the scene, seemed to recover, then later Friday afternoon he suffered a heart attack. Rogers was said to be out of danger the next day.
 
The investigation determined that the fire was set by a Cripple Creek firefighter who admitted that he had been a firebug since age seven. William Hailey, 27, confessed to starting 11 fires in his life, four of them in Cripple Creek. He pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to 60 years to life in the State Penitentiary (inmate number 21764). His sentence was commuted by Governor Vivian in 1946 and Hailey was paroled on October 10, 1950 and released from parole June 15, 1966.
 
Chief Dolan was appointed Police Chief and Fire Chief on February 1, 1939 and was still serving in both positions at his death. He was survived by his wife, Lorna and 2 young children, two sons from an earlier marriage and six brothers. Prior to being appointed Chief he had served as the night marshal for Cripple Creek.


Night Marshal Alva Thompson
Craig Marshal's Office

 
Craig Night Marshal Alva Thompson, 49, died early on October 13, 1940 when he was accidentally shot when his gun fell to the floor and discharged. The day marshal found Marshal Thompson dead at the city hall. Marshal Hamilton immediately notified the coroner and the undersheriff. The marshal’s gun was on the floor and an examination of the body revealed that the bullet entered the neck and came out the base of the brain. The coroners jury determined that Marshal Thompson died from an accidental discharge of his weapon and the time of death as between 12:30 and 3:30 a.m. on October 13. The gun was identified as an 'old automatic' that had been take from a bootlegger during prohibition many years earlier. An examination of the gun revealed the shell was still in the gun. Testing determined that the gun was defective as it would fire when dropped.


Undersheriff Clarence B. Fugate
Jefferson County

On October 12, 1940, Undersheriff Fugate was called to a domestic disturbance at Lee's Tavern that had turned into a hostage situation. Arthur Markham and owner Jack Carleton had gotten into an argument and Carleton had shot Markham three times.

When police arrived, Carleton said he would kill any officer who entered. Fugate entered and asked for Carleton's gun, and Carleton told him it was in the kitchen. Fugate went to the kitchen, but didn't find the weapon. He returned and asked for it again. Carleton reached behind the bar, pulled out a weapon and fired at Fugate twice, hitting him once in the heart and once in the lung. Fugate was able to fire one round before he died, but it lodged in the wall of the tavern.

Carleton escaped and hid in an alley where he was found and arrested. He was sentenced to life at hard labor in the Colorado State Penitentiary at Canon City. Carleton died 22 years later in 1962 while still in prison. He was 76 years old and was buried at "Woodpecker Hill", the prison cemetery.
Sources: Lakewood Sentinel; Golden Transcript.


Deputy Sheriff Earl J. Bucher

Weld County Sheriff's Office

 
On December 31, 1940, Deputy Sheriff Bucher was responding to what he thought was a routine call. Bucher walked up to the house of Fred Bernhardt to speak with the man regarding a complaint that was lodged by Bernhardt's stepson. Bernhardt, however, poked his shotgun out the door and shot Bucher in the head.
 
A posse was formed and a gunfight ensued that lasted about an hour. Bernhardt was later found dead from a gunshot wound inflicted by the posse's weapons.


Deputy Supervisor Arnold B. Gulzow
Colorado State Patrol

On June 22, 1941, Deputy Supervisor Gulzow, an original member of the Courtesy Patrol, was riding a motorcycle at Red Rocks near Denver while directing traffic. Gulzow was passing stopped traffic when an automobile suddenly made a left turn in front of him. He was transported to St. Luke's Hospital and died on June 26, 1941, due to the severity of his injuries.


Officer Louis Box

Rocky Ford Police Department

 
On April 18, 1945, Officer Box was stabbed in the throat and killed by Private Jackson Hart, a soldier assigned to the La Junta Airfield. Box had confronted Hart for following a 15-year-old girl after she had left the Grand Theater.
 
Private Hart was arrested and convicted in an Army Court Martial. He admitted stabbing Officer Box, but claimed it was self-defense. Hart was sentenced to death, but only served 14 years in prison, apparently due to sentencing changes at clemency hearings. He was released in 1959.


Patrolman Virgil M. Hall
Denver Police Department

On July 4, 1945, Patrolman Hall and his partner, Patrolman Robert LaVernway, received a report of an auto theft shortly after 1:00 a.m. A few seconds later, they spotted the car and attempted to stop it. The car sped away into an alley and crashed against a wall. Two men jumped out and ran. The two officers split up and chased the suspects.

LaVernway lost his man and started back to the patrol car. On his way, he heard Hall's shotgun discharge; then he heard additional shots and found Hall at 22nd and Larimer. Hall had been shot in the stomach, left chest and hip, and wanted an ambulance. An ex-convict named Mondragon had shotgun wounds in his head, chest and hips. Hall was waiting in the police car and Mondragon was lying on the top of a stairway in the alley. They were both transported to Denver General Hospital and Hall died the next day.

Mondragon was sentenced to life imprisonment in the state penitentiary on October 7, 1945. He was transferred to the State Hospital, and in March of 1957 he was resentenced to 25 years to life.
Source: Code 109.


Patrolman Wallace M. McCarty
Colorado State Patrol

On January 22, 1946, Patrolman McCarty was killed when a truck hit his patrol car head-on near Hudson on Colorado 6. McCarty was returning to Wray from Denver with Leslie Dale Wells, an automobile dealer. Wells died instantly, and McCarty was taken to Colorado General Hospital where he died two days later. An investigation showed the oncoming truck was on the wrong side of the road and weaving when the accident occurred. The truck driver was charged with manslaughter. 


Town Marshal Raymond B. Lewis
Town of Castle Rock

On February 14, 1946, 17-year-old Manuel Perez was a fugitive, wanted for shooting two Denver Police officers. Hwas sitting in the B&B Cafe in Castle Rock, unaware that he had been recognized and law enforcement had been summoned. When Marshal Raymond Lewis arrived at the cafe, Perez became suspicious and attempted to leave. Although Lewis was unarmed, he approached Perez and told the teenager to raise his hands. Instead, Perez pulled a revolver and fatally shot the Marshal in the chest. Some of the cafe customers jumped Perez and held him until Undersheriff Duncan Lowell arrived and made the arrest.

Perez was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison (as a minor, he could not be sentenced to death).
Sources: The Record-Journal; Rocky Mountain News.


Chief E. Clarence Martin

Las Animas Police Department


On April 19, 1947, shortly after getting off duty at 11:00 p.m., Chief E. Clarence Martin suffered a fatal heart attack.  He had responded to a disturbance at a bar in Las Animas about 10:00 PM in which two drunks were fighting.  While breaking up the fight he was struck in the chest by one of the men.  He took both guys to jail then went off duty.  The fatal heart attack came about one hour later.  He was transported to Bent County hospital and pronounced dead at 12:20 AM April 20, 1947.  Cause of death was Coronary Thrombosis, aggravated by the blow he received in the bar.


Officer Alvin Nelson
Leadville Police Department

On April 8, 1949, Officer Nelson arrived to assist Officer Mindenhall, who was tracking down Arvin Wurts after the man had broken into a car. Wurts had ducked into the Delaware Hotel, and the two officers followed him up to a third floor room. When confronted in the room, Wurts shot Nelson in the heart. Mindenhall returned Wurts's fire and killed him on the spot.
Sources: Denver Post; Leadville Research Cooperative.


Patrolman Harold M. Bechtelheimer
Colorado State Patrol

On September 14, 1949, while patrolling Highway 85-87 north of Colorado Springs, Patrolman Bechtelheimer (Beck) encountered a green Buick traveling southbound at a high speed. Before Beck could approach the driver, Daniel Valenzuela, the passneger, exited the car and came around the back of the car behind Beck. Beck spun around and struck Valenzuela with his flashlight. Valenzuela shot Beck in the chest and in the left arm. Beck returned to his patrol car to call for help before dying of his injuries. The two were apprehended later that evening north of Colorado Springs and were sentenced to life in prison. Beck was the first Colorado State Patrol Officer to be slain in the line of duty.


Sergeant Wesley Rosette
Colorado State Patrol

On January 31, 1951, Sergeant Rosette was killed near Price, Utah, in a collision with two trucks. Rosette and Grand Junction Sheriff E. E. Redmon were en route to pick up a prisoner for return to Colorado. They met an eastbound truck passing another eastbound truck. The passing truck cut in too soon and struck the other truck, which swerved in front of the oncoming Sheriff's car. The Sheriff was seriously injured but survived. Rosette was killed instantly. 


Marshall John Armour Stitt

Paonia Marshall's Office


On September 27, 1952, Paonia Night Marshall John Armour Stitt was shot and killed when he responded to a domestic dispute. Upon approaching the house he was shot once in the chest but managed to disarm his assailant before falling to the ground. He was transported by witnesses to a doctor's office where he died. Other witnesses held the suspect, Dave Gannon, and he was arrested. Marshall Stitt was survived by his wife and eleven children.


Sheriff Wesley A. McDonald
Deputy James L. Jackson
Washington County

On November 8, 1952, Sheriff McDonald and Deputy Jackson drove out to a farm southwest of Akron. They made the trip to pick up farmer Clarence Hass, a mental patient. The Sheriff, who had known Hass for many years, parked the car about 35 feet from the back of the farmhouse and began to walk toward the back door. Hass was standing in the doorway. He raised his rifle and gunned down Sheriff McDonald. He then turned the rifle toward the police car and shot Deputy Jackson through the door.

After killing the two officers, Hass set the house and outbuildings on fire and then fled. After a twelve-hour manhunt, and as officers were closing in on him, the insane farmer killed himself with the same rifle.


Patrolman William A. Claassen
Denver Police Department

Patrolman Claassen and partner James Ingraham stopped at the Ideal Pharmacy at 2801 Downing St. to investigate a burglary in progress. A gun duel erupted with an ex-convict named Jack Bundage. Claassen was shot in the chest, but was able to fire one shot that wounded the gunman. Bundage burst out of a rear window with his shirt stained from the gunshot wound. Although Ingraham had been wounded by one of Bundage's shots, he fired a single round that killed the burglar. Claassen died soon after the incident on February 11, 1953.
Source: Code 109.


Chief Richard Ware

Evans Police Department

 
On September 20, 1953, James Gallegos was upset about a summons he had received from State Patrolman Charles Probasco. He was even more upset at Chief Ware, who had provided information to the Patrol and was scheduled to testify against Gallegos at trial later in the week. On Monday morning, September 21, Gallegos knocked on the door of Chief Ware's home and gave a phony story about his car being rammed by another vehicle. Chief Ware came out into the driveway to talk to Gallegos.
 
No one saw what happened next, but the investigation showed that Gallegos shot the unarmed Chief in the back and the head, before Ware turned the gun on Gallegos and shot him in the temple. Both men were dead in the driveway by the time neighbors and family responded to the gunshots.


Assistant Police Chief Guy Everett O'Neal

Monte Vista Police Department

 
On October 23, 1953, Assistant Chief O'Neal and Officer R. V. Keys responded to a "shots fired" call in the evening. As the two officers approached the door of the house where the shots reportedly came from, Rudy Morgan shot at them through the glass front door. O'Neal was hit by one of the shots and was able to run down the sidewalk to the far edge of the lot before falling. Keys ran across the street to another yard before he also fell as the result of gunshot wounds.
 
Rudy Morgan also killed his wife Betty, 35, his son Johnny, 7, his daughter Tamara, 5, and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Nannie Deitrich, 62, before killing himself. Officer Keys survived the shooting.


Patrolman Richard Burchfield
Colorado Springs Police Department

On November 26, 1953, Patrolman Burchfield was dispatched to a personal armed robbery occurring on North Cascade Ave. He soon called in and asked dispatch if there were any detectives working. His second transmission advised that he was en route to HQ to meet the detective. A short time later, a man came into the front desk of HQ and advised that there was a police car pulled over near Bijou and El Paso St. and the officer appeared to be sick because he was slumped over. Officers raced to the scene and found Burchfield lying dead in the patrol car. He had been shot seven times at close range with a .22 caliber pistol.

Much remains a mystery, but information gathered during the exhaustive investigation that spanned 3 decades indicates that Burchfield had found and taken into custody a suspect in a series of armed robberies. Found on the floor was an ID card belonging to the victim of the robbery that had occurred earlier that evening. The reporting party initially had driven past the patrol car and saw a tall skinny male walking briskly away. After driving around the block three times, he saw the officer slumped over and became concerned.

This case has been officially cleared and no one has ever been charged with the murder of Patrolman Burchfield.
Source: Colorado Springs Police Department.


Patrolman Melvin E. Phillips
Patrolman Floyd E. Gresham
Colorado State Patrol

On February 2, 1956, Patrolmen Phillips and Gresham died instantly when their patrol car was smashed between two semi trucks seven miles southeast of Hugo on U.S. 287. The officers had stopped a southbound truck and were issuing clearance to the driver, seated in the patrol car's backseat. A truck approaching from the rear smashed into the back of the patrol car, ramming it into the stopped semi. The patrol car was pushed forward more than sixty-five feet, and the stopped semi was pushed forward seventy feet with its brakes set. All were killed instantly. The driver had not applied the brakes prior to impact. It was supsected he had fallen asleep. 


Patrolman Richard J. Cahalan
Colorado State Patrol

On September 28, 1957, Patrolman Cahalan was killed in a patrol car accident seven miles west of Kremmling when his patrol car went off the road and down a fifty foot embankment. He may have been forced off the road by an oncoming vehicle, but this was never verified. Cahalan was accompanied by Jack Traux of the State Game and Fish Department. Traux suffered a broken leg and back injuries. 


Patrolman Donald J. Seick
Denver Police Department

On January 12, 1958, Patrolman Seick had stopped at a filling station with his wife and was killed while off-duty.  Observing a man quickly walk out of the building, Seick suspected the man had just robbed the station. Seick drove behind the man until he reached 50th and Green Court. He then asked the man what he was doing in the service station, and the man replied that he wasn't doing anything except walking. Seick turned to his wife and told her to duck. She climbed out of the car on the street side as Seick got out on the curb to meet the man. Seick told the man to take his hands out of his pocket.

Mrs. Seick heard a shot and she ran to the other side of the car to see her husband slumping into the gutter. The bandit then pointed the gun at her. She pleaded for her life and said she had six kids to take care of. She stooped to her husband's side as he muttered something she couldn't understand. The gunman walked across the street, climbed into a car and drove away. Seick died minutes later of a bullet through the heart. Seick's gun was determined missing because he never left home without it.

Five days later, Donald Carl Zorens was arrested on suspicion of the murder and was positively identified. Zorens was found guilty of murder in the first degree and was sentenced to the State Penitentiary for the remainder of his natural life. However, he was paroled on January 7, 1974.
Source: Code 109.


Officer Raymond J. McMaster
Boulder Police Department

On November 9, 1958, Officers Raymond McMaster and Howard Grothjan were parked along Highway 7, watching for armed robbery suspects who were headed their way from the north. When the suspect vehicle passed them, the officers followed and observed two men in the car. The officers decided to stop the vehicle, unaware that a third man was hiding in the rear seat, armed with a pistol.

As McMaster approached the right side of the vehicle, a gun battle began. McMaster was shot in four places, yet he still managed to seriously wound two of the suspects. Grothjan, who was not injured, called for assistance and the three suspects were apprehended. Shortly thereafter, McMaster succumbed to his wounds.

Two of the suspects, Vernon and Revilo Sides, were convicted of first degree murder and received life sentences. The third man, Vernon Johnson, was convicted of aggravated robbery and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.  


Corporal Richard C. Edstrom
Colorado State Patrol

On September 19, 1959, Corporal Edstrom was wounded during a gun battle with three fugitives from New Mexico. The fleeing car crashed through a Durango roadblock on U.S. 550. The chase was terminated when the wanted car went down a deadend alley. Walter Duncan and Barbara Foster jumped out with their hands up. However, J.L. West ran and Edstrom stopped him as he tried to get into another car. During the ensuing gun battle, Edstrom was hit twice. Assisting officers from the Durango Police Department opened fire, hitting West five times. He died instantly. Edstrom was hospitalized at Mercy Hospital in Durango and died on October 28, 1959.

1960-1980

Patrolman Robert F. Jackson
Adams County

On August 26, 1960, Patrolman Jackson received a call about a family disturbance involving a weapon. He got clearance to go "red light and siren" to reach his destination more quickly. As he approached the crest of a hill eastbound on 104th at the Valley Highway, he realized that the small foreign car in his path was full of young people. To avoid this car, he swerved in front of a large semi hauling bulk cement. He died at the scene of the accident from multiple injuries.

The emergency call that Jackson was answering turned out to be two teenage girls arguing. Their parents had called for an officer to try to scare the girls.
Source: Adams County Sheriff's Office.


Lieutenant Hiram V. Short
Colorado State Patrol

On July 12, 1961, Lieutenant Short was traveling from his new post in Craig to Castle Rock when he responded to a request for assistance from Colorado Department of Wildlife officer Bob Hoover. Hoover had encountered a parked vehicle occupied by Delmar Dean Spooner. When he saw a rifle, he decided to check the vehicle ownership. Spooner pulled out a Walther P38 handgun and shot Grand County Sheriff Chancy Van Pelt, who had also responded to the scene. Then he shot Short and fired at Hoover. Hoover and Van Pelt survived their injuries, but Short died during surgery. Spooner was spotted two days later by a train crew. He was later sentenced to life imprisonment in the Colorado State Penitentiary. 


Edward Smerdel
Denver Police


On July 16, 1961, Denver Police Officer Edward Smerdel, 34, died as a result of an accidental gunshot wound while cleaning his weapon at the Five Points substation on Welton St. He was attempting to clean his gun prior to an inspection the next day and inadvertently shot himself in the chest. Officer Smerdel had been with the Denver Police Department for over 11 years and had received sixteen commendations including one for saving the life of a 3 year old. He was survived by his wife and daughter.


Sheriff Merlin H. Koerner
Lincoln County

On June 19, 1961, Koerner had gotten a search warrant from the County Judge and was driving through Hugo, when his patrol car collided with a cattle truck at the intersection of Highways 287/40 and Lake Street. The patrol car traveled about 65 feet, crashed into a storefront and Koerner was ejected from the car. He died about four hours later from his severe injuries.

Sheriff Merlin Koerner came from a law enforcement family, and had been Sheriff of Lincoln County since 1932, when he was appointed to fulfill the term of his late father.


Deputy Sheriff John Clark
Eagle County

On July 12, 1961, Deputy Clark was involved in the pursuit of Delmar Spooner, who had already murdered Colorado State Patrol Lieutenant Hiram Short. The Eagle County Sheriff's Office blockaded the roadway. Spooner rammed one of the Sheriff's cars and went into the ditch. He fled up the hillside and was pursued by Clark. Spooner fired at Clark, hitting him in the face. Clark died five hours later in Leadville. Spooner was later captured, convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Colorado State Penitentiary.
Sources: Rocky Mountain News; Arizona Daily Star.


Patrolman Robert G. Beghtol
Arvada Police Department

On July 28, 1961, during a scuba training session with the Arvada Underwater Team at a deep gravel pit near 60th and Tennyson, Patrolman Robert Beghtol incurred cramps from the cold water in the pit. Then, his diving gear became entangled in rubble at the bottom of the pit and he drowned.

Twenty years earlier, Beghtol's grandfather Lee had become Arvada's first uniformed police officer.


Detective Darrell J. Suer
Denver Police Department

On March 11, 1962, Detective Suer was working off-duty in uniform at the Regis College field house. Following the tournament, Suer and his wife went to a cafe for a bite to eat. Soon after, three armed men burst through the front door of the cafe. Suer jumped up and tried to prevent the robbery. He fired a shot at one of the gunmen, striking him in the stomach. One of the other gunmen shot Suer, who fell in a pool of blood near the kitchen door. The two other bandits dashed out of the cafe and escaped.

Suer and the wounded gunman, Paul Martinez, were taken to Denver General Hospital. Suer died upon arrival from a gunshot wound in the heart, and Martinez died the next day.

The next day, four suspects were arrested: Jerry Stilley, Joseph Scheer, Mrs. Virginia Fujiwara and James Sides, who all had criminal records. Fujiwara was released and no further charges were brought against her. Sides was questioned and released. Stilley was sentenced to life at hard labor for his part in the murder, and Scheer was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Source: Code 109.


Patrolman Carl Knobbe
Denver Police Department

On September 12, 1962, Patrolman Knobbe was on routine patrol when he heard of a robbery and stolen vehicle. He soon saw a car that matched the description of the stolen vehicle. He gave chase and approached the car after it lost control and crashed into a tree in the 2100 block of South Williams. He did not use the radio to notify police of the chase or crash. When Knobbe walked up to the passenger side of the car and opened the front door, Michael Bell, an ex-convict who was on parole, put the barrel of a shotgun in the officer's stomach and fired. Knobbe crawled on his hands and knees toward the car and around to the front bumper and collapsed. An eyewitness, Richard Matt, called the police. Bell walked over to Knobbe and fired three more shots, only one of which hit the officer.

The Denver Police Department launched the largest manhunt in Denver history with more than 200 policemen, off-duty officers, and volunteers. Knobbe was an above-average patrolman and well-liked by his fellow officers. Bell was finally spotted by rookie officer Pennel, waiting for a bus. Pennel saw a gun in Bell's pocket and he fired a warning shot. Bell surrendered and confessed and said he'd been tempted to shoot four other officers.

Bell pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. However, a jury found him guilty and sane. He was sentenced and confined to the State Prison, awaiting execution during the week of December 2, 1963. But his sentence was changed to life imprisonment. Nearly 15 years later, Bell attempted to escape and was shot and killed.
Source: Code 109.


Patrolman Paul Major
Denver Police Department

On January 20, 1965, Patrolman Major was in a police car with Patrolman Albert H. Peterson. The two stopped a car for a traffic violation and found it was stolen. Several occupants jumped out of the car and fled in different directions. Major chased one of the fleeing occupants on foot. Major apparently chased the man into the alley at the rear of 60 South Broadway, where he was shot twice, once in chest and once in the back of his head.

Phillip Gonzales was soon arrested in his apartment after passersby told police they saw two men enter the building. As officers entered Gonzales's apartment, they found him attempting to flush a transparent Halloween mask down a toilet and saw him throw a nickel-plated revolver out a window. Major was dead on arrival at Denver General Hospital.

Gonzales was held for investigation of homicide, later charged, and sentenced to life imprisonment at the Colorado State Prison on June 18, 1965.
Source: Code 109.


Patrolman Nicholas A. Carhart
Sergeant Albert M. Alcorn

Colorado State Patrol

On January 23, 1966, Patrolman Carhart and Sergeant Alcorn were killed in an accident while on normal patrol assignment. Alcorn was conducting a training and evaluation on duty tour to observe rookie Carhart's performance. The patrol car was eastbound on Colorado 72 when it went out of control on a curve. The car ran off the road and rolled. Both officers were fatally injured. The exact cause of the accident was never determined.


Nathanial R Lacy

National Park Service


On June 23, 1966, National Park Service Ranger Nathanial R. Lacy, 43, died as a result of a solo motorcycle accident about 300 yards west of the Fall River entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. He usually checked out the Aspenglen campground, and the horses stabled at Little Horseshoe Park, each evening. The accident was not discovered until the next morning. He had gone off the road but the reason was never determined. Ranger Lacy started with the National Park Service in 1947 as a seasonal ranger. He also served in Parks in South Dakota, North Dakota and the Virgin Islands before coming to Rocky Mountain National Park in 1963. Ranger Lacy was survived by his wife and three children.


Patrolman Gerald R. Williams
Colorado State Patrol

On December 16, 1967, Patrolman Williams was killed while assisting two motorists near Rocky Ford on Colorado 50. One motorist was out of gas and the other was stuck in the median. While Williams was walking on the roadway, he was hit by a vehicle driven by a La Junta man. Williams was transported to a hospital in La Junta and was pronounced dead on arrival. 


Captain Vincent Swiskoski

Walsenburg Police Department

 
On December 22, 1967, Captain Swiskoski and Chief Mike Rampa responded to a domestic dispute at the home of Joseph Medina. Medina had apparently threatened his wife with a rifle. As Swiskoski approached the door to the house, Medina came out on the front porch with a rifle and ordered him to halt. Rampa asked Medina to put down the rifle so they could talk. Instead, Medina pointed the rifle at Swiskoski and fired. Swiskoski fell to the ground and Officer Serrato, who was now at the scene, fired at Medina and hit him in the stomach. Swiskoski was taken to Huerfano County Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead.


Patrolman Larry B. Enloe
Colorado State Patrol

On January 8, 1968, Patrolman Enloe was on Interstate 25 north of Trinidad when he stopped a stolen blue station wagon for a traffic violation. When Enloe was seated in the patrol car, Edward Cosgrove, a sixteen year old runaway, shot Enloe with a .38-caliber gun. Cosgrove then stopped a Volkswagen driven by Sergeant Fink of the U.S. Army. He said he had killed a police officer and to cooperate fully or he would kill Fink's infant child. At a roadblock south of Pueblo, they were allowed to proceed on their way. Fink let Cosgrove out in Pueblo and returned to the roadblock to tell officers what had happened. Cosgrove was caught and later found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to 34-30 years. 


Deputy Sheriff James W. Mitchell
Larimer County

On July 15, 1968, Deputy Mitchell was eastbound on rain-slicked highway 14, about one-half mile east of Laporte. He attempted to pass another vehicle driven by Stanley Dolan. The patrol car broadsided Dolan's car. Both vehicles came to rest on the north shoulder of the highway and were demolished. Mitchell was dead on arrival at Poudre Valley Memorial Hospital.
Source: Fort Collins Coloradoan.


Officer Paul D. Wilson

Denver Police Department

 
On September 14, 1968, Officer Wilson was accidentally shot and killed in the District One station of the Denver Police Department. One officer was showing a gun to another when the shooting occurred. Officer Wilson had served with the department for 9 years. He was survived by his wife and three children. 


Patrolman Merle E. Nading Jr.
Denver Police Department

On October 3, 1971, Patrolman Nading was attempting to quiet a disturbance in the parking lot of Clark's Diner at 2201 East Colfax Ave. He observed a man and a woman quarreling and arrested the man on a disturbance charge. Patrons of the nearby Shapes Lounge gathered in the parking lot and began to harass Nading. Off-duty officer Robert Wallis came to assist Nading. Nading gave him custody of the suspect and started walking around the back of his patrol car to inform the dispatcher of the growing crowd. One man in the crowd threw a punch at Nading, and when he started to arrest the man, a second man interfered and Nading grabbed him. While Nading was holding the second man in a headlock, the man reached around the officer's body, snatched his gun and fired once. Nading was shot in the back. When Wallis saw Nading fall, he let go of his suspect and went to Nading's aid. All of the suspects in the parking lot then fled.

Nading was pronounced dead upon arrival at Denver General Hospital. Nading's slayer was described as a black man in mid 20s, about 5' 8" and weighing 155 pounds. A manhunt resulted, and Kenneth Ray Green was apprehended in Texas. He was returned to Colorado, where he stood trial for the murder of Officer Nading. He was acquitted, and many officers and the Denver Police Union were highly critical of the manner in which the district attorney's office handled this case.
Source: Code 109.


Officer James A. Chew
Steamboat Springs Police Department

On July 28, 1972, Officer Chew was involved in the pursuit of a stolen vehicle, and a subsequent foot chase of the vehicle's driver. After Chew had apprehended the driver and was searching him, the officer was disarmed and shot with his service revolver. Officer Chew was declared dead before the arrival of the ambulance. The suspect was later found to be an escapee from the State of Washington. The suspect was tried and found guilty of Second Degree Murder and sentenced to the State Penitentiary in Canon City.
Source: Routt County Sheriff's Department.


Deputy Sheriff Rodolpho F. Sanchez
Costilla County

On April 16, 1973, when Deputy Sanchez responded to a disturbance call at a tavern where fighting had been reported, he was fatally shot with a .22 pistol. Four suspects fled the scene in a pickup truck and were later apprehended in Espanola, New Mexico. Two fellow officers were wounded by a knife and a .22 pistol. One suspect, a white male, was charged with the killing. A jury returned a verdict of not guilty.
Source: Costilla County Sheriff's Office.


Patrolman Danny R. Barnes
Adams County

On May 31, 1973, Patrolman Danny Barnes was driving when he was hit head on by a motorist driving the wrong way on the westbound ramp from Interstate 25 onto the Denver-Boulder Turnpike. Barnes was on duty as an undercover officer. He died at 12:25am on June 1, 1973.
Source: Adams County Sheriff's Office.


Police Patrolman Stephen D. Hensley
Delta Police Department

On August 11, 1973, Police Patrolman Hensley and Police Patrolman Ralph Curfman pursued a speeding motorcyclist, Leo Olivas. Olivas led the patrolmen east of Delta on Colorado 92 to Read, where he turned off and went east into a hayfield. The two officers pursued Olivas on foot until he fell down, rolled over and fired one shot at the two patrolmen.

Neither patrolman was hit by the shots. Curfman then ran to a nearby house to summon help. During this time, Olivas overcame Hensley and forced him to drive toward Hotchkiss. While driving at the west edge of Hotchkiss, Hensley jumped Olivas who was beside him on the front seat, and the patrol car rolled into a ditch.

Sometime during the altercation, Hensley was shot once in the side and died ten minutes after the patrol car accident and just before an ambulance arrived at the scene. Olivas was apprehended without further gunfire and placed in the Delta County Jail.
Source: Delta Police Department.


Officer Gary D. Mills
Boulder Police Department

On August 25, 1973, Officer Gary Mills and another officer were finishing up a disturbance call in a trailer park at 3003 Valmont. As the officers were leaving the trailer, William J. Abshire emerged from another nearby trailer, carrying a shotgun and yelling obscenities. Abshire opened fire on the policemen and Officer Mills received a fatal wound to the back.

The reason for Abshire's behavior is a mystery, since he had nothing to do with the disturbance call the police officers were handling. Abshire was tried, convicted and sentenced to 10-40 years imprisonment.


Deputy Sheriff Larry Eugene Smith

Otero County Sheriff's Office

 
On December 27, 1973 in the evening, Deputy Smith was called to a family disturbance. Upon arrival, Smith was confronted by James Nunnaley who was brandishing a shotgun. Smith asked Nunnaley to put the weapon down. Instead, Nunnaley fired at the deputy and Smith returned fire almost simultaneously. Smith was killed by a shotgun wound to the head and Nunnaley died several days later from his wounds.


Patrolman Thomas R. Carpenter
Colorado State Patrol

On December 27, 1973, Patrolman Carpenter stopped a 1964 Chevrolet on the westbound ramp from Broadway onto Colorado 36. A physical altercation developed between Carpenter and the occupants. It is believed Carpenter was kidnapped and his service weapon taken from him. At 10 a.m., he gave his location as Interstate 70 and Havana, eight miles out of his assigned area. Shortly after this, Carpenter and his patrol car were found in a Montbello parking lot. Carpenter had been shot four times with his own weapon from the backseat of the patrol car. No one was charged with the murder and the case is considered closed. The two prime suspects were killed in unrelated violent altercations.


Corporal Thomas M. Hanson
Pueblo Police Department

On December 29, 1973, Corporal Hanson entered a 7-11 store during an armed robbery and was shot by the robber. The bullet entered his shoulder and lodged in his lung, killing him. Corporal Hanson's partner, who was outside the store, returned fire through the front window and killed the suspect.


Patrolman Richard P. Ross
Colorado State Patrol

On July 10, 1974, Patrolman Ross was investigating an accident six miles west of Hugo on U.S. 287. After completing his investigation, he backed over a bent delineator post and then drove forward slightly. The post forced a hole in the trunk of the car and pushed the exhaust pipe into the hole. Ross called a supervisor to report his accident. He left the engine running while he finished the report from the previous accident. Two truck drivers found Ross unconscious and called for help on the patrol car radio. Ross was pronounced dead at the scene by a doctor from Hugo. Tests indicated he died from carbon monoxide poisoning. 


Deputy Sheriff John Derek Osborne

Denver Sheriff's Office

 
On August 6, 1974, Deputy Osborne was just beginning his nightly rounds at the Denver County Jail. Two inmates, Ronald Vashone and Charles Samples, attacked another guard and managed to free themselves from their cell. Then they attacked an unsuspecting Osborne by cutting his throat with a homemade four-inch blade. Osborne was transported to Denver General Hospital where he later died from the stab wound to the neck. The two suspects were eventually apprehended.


Officer Gale E. Emerson
Durango Police Department

On August 24, 1974, Corporal Emerson was killed as a result of an arson fire on Main Avenue. He and a firefighter were attempting to evacuate an apartment building which was burning. During the evacuation a wall exploded, killing Corporal Emerson and the firefighter. The suspect was convicted and sent to a mental hospital but was released in 1994.
Source: Durango Police Department.


Patrolman William E. Smith
Denver Police Department

On January 23, 1975, police were called to the Pier 11 Lounge (3730 Federal Boulevard) by employee Mary Sue Apodaca, who said two men in the bar were causing trouble. The two men, identified as David Lee Bridges and James A. Lang Jr., had been refused service in the bar. The pair left the bar and then later returned to rob the establishment, armed with a .357 magnum pistol and a .22 caliber rifle with the stock cut off. The two forced Miss Apodaca and three patrons to lie on the floor, during which time one of the men reportedly kicked Miss Apodaca and poured hot coffee on her. They then took wallets from the three patrons and money from the cash drawer, and fired several shots into the walls and glasses behind the bar.

Patrolman Smith and his partner, Patrolman Frias, were among the officers responding to the disturbance call. Neither officer knew about the stickup. Smith got out of the car before Frias and walked to the south door of the lounge. He opened the door and as he started in, two shots were fired and he fell, mortally wounded. The gunman, later identified as Bridges, ran out of the door and Frias shot two or three times at him. Frias and another officer, Aaron Burroughs, lost sight of Bridges during the chase and an intensive search started.

Bridges was found between two small sheds off the alley in the 3800 block between Federal Boulevard and Eliot Street. Ambulances took William Smith, Mary Sue Apodaca and David Bridges to Denver General Hospital, where Smith was later pronounced dead. Bridges was shot three times, with bullets hitting the thigh, spleen, liver, chest and abdomen, but he survived his injuries.

Charges were later filed against Bridges and Lang for first-degree murder. Lang was charged because a death occurred while he was participating in the commission of a felonious act. Both were also charged with armed robbery and conspiracy.
Source: Code 109.


Officer Bernard L. Carter
Colorado Springs Police Department

On May 14, 1975, Officer Carter and a civilian observer had been assisting patrol officers as they tried to control a riot involving 250 students at Irving Junior High. After remaining on the scene several minutes, Officer Carter advised dispatch that the riot appeared to be subsiding and he cleared the area. A few moments after the last transmission, the Colorado Springs Police Department Communications Center was advised of some type of aviation crash on South Carefree Circle near the intersection of Valencia Road. When assistance arrived on scene, it was discovered that the CSPD helicopter had crashed, killing both Officer Carter and the civilian observer.
Source: Colorado Springs Police Department.


Agent Jack R. Coler
Federal Bureau of Investigation

On June 26, 1975, Agent Coler was killed in an ambush at Oglala, South Dakota while on official duty. He was on special assignment in that area, assigned to the Denver Division of the FBI. The agents were attempting to serve a warrant for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Only one of the four suspects charged with their murders was convicted.


Motorcycle Officer Dennis J. Ives
Colorado Springs Police Department

On August 7, 1975, Officer Ives was en route to assist in the Pageant Parade of the Rockies. While traveling southbound on I-25, just south of Uintah, Ives was involved in an accident. His motorcycle left the right side of the roadway, coming to rest in an area hidden from the roadway and nearby homes. The accident was not discovered until nearly 10:30am. When officers arrived on the scene to investigate, they found that Ives was dead. It was later determined that the accident happened sometime after 6:00am and it is believed that Ives had been alive until approximately 8:00am.
Source: Colorado Springs Police Department.


Detective Donald L. Debruno
Denver Police Department

On December 10, 1975, in front of the Continental Trailways bus depot (1669 Broadway), Detective Debruno and Detective David L. Haley were shot while attempting to arrest Roy Allen Embry. Embry was wanted on a murder and assault to a police officer warrant issued in Canada, and theft and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution warrants issued in Kentucky.

Debruno suffered a gunshot wound in the chest and was taken to Denver General Hospital where he died shortly after arrival in the emergency room. Haley was shot in the stomach but survived his injuries. Embry, who was shot by Haley during the altercation, was taken to St. Joseph Hospital and he also survived his injuries.
Source: Code 109.


Patrolman Michael H. James
Colorado State Patrol

On December 18, 1975, Patrolman James stopped a pickup driven by Robert Montgomery westbound on Colorado 24 near Limon. While James was running a driver's license check, Montgomery assaulted him and took his service revolver. James tried to regain control of the situation, but Montgomery shot him several times. Montgomery left James beside the road and disabled the patrol car radio. A short time later, a truck driver with a CB radio called the Limon dispatch office and reported a wounded officer. James was dead by the time the doctor arrived. Montgomery surrendered arter three hours and was later convicted of robbery, murder, and being a habitual criminal. He was sentenced to three life terms. 


Detective Sergeant Donald R. Laabs
Manitou Springs Police Department

On December 18, 1975, Detective Sergeant Laabs left the police station at approximately 8:00pm en route to his residence in Security, Colorado. Laabs was seen entering the US24 Bypass on-ramp toward Colorado Springs, which would be his normal route of travel. Laabs and his vehicle was found at approximately 10:30pm in the southbound lanes of Interstate 25, approximately 100 yards north of the Arvada Street exit, by a citizen passerby. Further investigation revealed that Laabs had been shot at close range at least 8 times with a .22 caliber revolver. Laabs was pronounced dead at the scene.

To this date, investigations by the Colorado Springs Police Department have not revealed any leads in the case.
Source: Manitou Springs Police Department.


Traffic Officer Harry L. Allen
Colorado Springs Police Department

On December 22, 1975, Officer Allen had been dispatched to a single car rollover accident at the intersection of Platte Avenue and Powers Boulevard. At the time, traffic investigators’ cars were not equipped with overhead lights and the intersection was dark and unlit. The victim of the accident had been transported away and Officer Allen remained on the scene to investigate. As Officer Allen was taking measurements of the accident scene, he was struck and killed by a vehicle traveling southbound on Powers. Police Traffic Lieutenant Emmet Butler said that Allen was carried on the hood of the car for at least 150 feet before he fell to the pavement.

The driver of the vehicle was later cited for careless driving. Several weeks later, she pleaded guilty and was fined $25.00 for the accident.
Source: Colorado Springs Police Department.


Sergeant Willis Hugh Purdy
Colorado State Patrol

On July 31, 1976, Sergeant Purdy had finished his shift when dispatchers informed him of severe weather problems in the Big Thompson Canyon, west of Loveland. As Purdy proceeded into the canyon, he ordered evacuations in the lower areas below the canyon, a decision that saved hundreds of lives. Purdy encountered the torrent coming from the Devil's Gulch tributary of the Big Thompson River and was attempting to turn himself and others away from it. Purdy's last words to dispatch were at 9:15 p.m. Purdy was found on a sand-bar eight miles below the point where he was last seen. Purdy's patrol car was found two miles east of Drake at the bottom of a pile of eight cars. The only identifiable object was the metal key ring still in the ignition. 


Officer Michael O. Conley
Estes Park Police Department

On July 31, 1976, Officer Conley died in the Big Thompson Flood. Conley was on one of his days off and had gone to Loveland to pick up his wife from the bus depot. As he drove up the Big Thompson Canyon enroute to Estes Park, he became aware of the dangerous situation. In the general vicinity of the Waltonia Motel, Conley, on his own volition and while off duty, rescued approximately 60 people from the area before losing his own life in the flood.

Two years after the flood, a memorial was dedicated at the mouth of the Big Thompson Canyon, honoring Officer Conley and Colorado State Patrol Sergeant Willis Hugh Purdy.
Source: Estes Park Police Department.


Patrolman Jameson M. Longsworth
Greeley Police Department

On October 13, 1962, Patrolman Longsworth was dispatched to a family disturbance. While he was attempting to mediate, the male party took a .22 caliber revolver from a drawer and shot Longsworth once in the neck. Longsworth was paralyzed from the neck down, and as a direct result of this paralysis, died an untimely death on November 22, 1976.
Source: Greeley Police Department.


Special Agent Dean L. McLaughlin

Union Pacific Railroad Police

 
On April 6, 1977, about 7 p.m., Special Agent Dean McLaughlin, 62, was found shot to death in his car in the parking lot of the Union Pacific building at 1735 19th Street in Denver. Police were called to the building on a report of a sniper after a witness called to report gunshots. After locating Agent McLaughlin they discounted that theory. Evidence indicated that someone had come up and fired two shotgun blasts into McLaughlin's car as he was pulling out of the parking place. He was killed instantly.
 
Agent McLaughlin had just flown back to Denver from UP's headquarters in Omaha and had been dropped off at his car by another agent. He was armed but in plain clothes at the time. The vehicle was his UP police vehicle. Investigation determined that after the other agent had left, McLaughlin was approached by another (off-duty) Special Agent who pulled a shotgun from behind his back and shot McLaughlin. The shooter was later identified as Joseph White who was subsequently arrested, charged and convicted of the murder of Agent McLaughlin. Apparently White had just received a negative performance appraisal from McLaughlin and was despondent over that.
 
At the time of his death McLaughlin had just been elected (March 23, 1977) as President of the Colorado Law Enforcement Officer's Association. He was survived by his wife and three children.


Special Agent Larry E. Boles

Union Pacific Railroad Police

 
On July 9, 1977, Special Agent Larry Boles, 28, interrupted a burglary in progress at a boxcar in the Union Pacific rail yard near 46th Ave and Race Street. Boles had notified Denver Police that he was holding a suspect and requested backup. Arriving officers found Agent Boles dead. Possibly another suspect came up from behind and struck him. He had been shot 5 times and struck numerous times with a 2x4 board. Agent Boles had served one year with the Union Pacific. Prior to that he had been an Adams County Deputy Sheriff for three and a half years serving on their dive team.
 
Agent Boles was survived by his wife of less than 1 year, Tamera, and a daughter he never met, who was born after his death. He was also survived by his parents, two brothers and two sisters.


Patrol Sergeant Wayne G. Bryant
Douglas County

On March 2, 1978, Patrol Sergeant Wayne Bryant died of a heart attack. This was an original submission in 1979. The only info submitted was the following sentence:  “Patrol Sergeant Bryant died of a heart attack on duty.  No violence.”  
Source: Douglas County Sheriff's Office.


Sheriff Virgil Mason
San Juan County

On December 2, 1978, Sheriff Virgil Mason died of a massive heart attack early Saturday morning on Hwy 110 between Silverton and Howardsville.  Sheriff Mason was following a road crew headed to Eureka in an attempt to keep the road open for the Standard Metals workers at the Terry Tunnel.  The road crew saw the sheriff’s vehicle pull to the side of the road.  The checked on him and determined he needed help.  CPR was attempted but unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead when the ambulance arrived about 12:45 AM.  Virgil Mason had served as sheriff of San Juan County since May 1, 1968.  He had served two terms as president of the County Sheriffs of Colorado and for the previous nine years had directed the Silverton Avalanche School each winter.
Source: San Juan County Sheriff's Office.


Sheriff Robert C. Watson
Larimer County

On January 5, 1979, Sheriff Watson suffered a heart attack after interviewing a witness at the Sheriff’s office.  The sheriff was with his son, Lt. Rick Watson, when he stated he didn’t feel well.  They walked towards the sheriff’s actual office when he collapsed in his son’s arms.  He was immediately transported to Poudre Valley Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:10 PM.  Sheriff Watson had a history of heart trouble and had been hospitalized at McKee Medical Center in Loveland just 2 weeks prior to this incident.  He also was hospitalized the previous September 12th when doctors stated he had suffered a mild heart attack.  Sheriff Watson had been defeated in the primary election 4 months earlier and was just 4 days from ending his eight-year term of sheriff.  Prior to being elected sheriff, he had spent 24 years with the Loveland Police Department.
Source: Larimer County Sheriff's Office.


Trooper Frances I. Galvin
Colorado State Patrol

On May 24, 1979, Galvin was investigating a fatal accident east of Pueblo involving a motorcycle and a car. At 10:20 p.m., Galvin stepped into the roadway to check a small bit of information she needed. She was struck by an eastbound vehicle. Galvin was taken to St. Mary Corwin Hospital in Pueblo. However, her injuries were too severe, and she died the next afternoon. 


Officer Walter M. Northey
Arvada Police Department

On August 11, 1979, Officer Northey and a back-up, Officer Westerdahl, made a traffic stop on two motorcycles in the 7500 block of Wadsworth Boulevard. Northey noticed a revolver in the waistband of one of the riders, John Swisher. Northey arrested Swisher and put him in the rear seat of his patrol car.

As Northey was standing behind the open driver's door preparing to enter the patrol car, he was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by John Hostetler. The Hostetler vehicle continued north for 47 feet with Northey atop the hood where it collided with the motorcycle on the rear of a tow truck. Northey was then thrown an additional 45 feet, coming to rest underneath Officer Westerdahl's patrol car.

Two days later, on August 13, 1979, Officer Northey died at Lutheran Hospital from the injuries sustained in the accident. Northey had been with the Arvada Police Department for 1½ years at the time of his death.
Source: Arvada Police Department; The Denver Post.


Agent Perry S. Watkins
U. S. Secret Service

On January 14, 1980, at about 2:50pm, Joseph Hugh Ryan walked into the United States Secret Service Office at 1660 Lincoln Street in Denver. For the next few minutes, Agents Daniel Simpkins and Andrew Gruler listened and talked to Ryan, who rambled incoherently from one subject to another, often making no sense.

Ryan had identified himself during the discussion, and with this information, a background check was quickly made with headquarters in Washington, D.C. The check revealed, among other things, that Ryan had a history of making threats against U.S. Presidents, had been arrested at the White House gate for illegal acts, had a background of mental instability and had been committed to the V.A. Hospital in Tampa, Florida in September 1979 where he was diagnosed as dangerous, and in March 1979, was found to be armed with a .357 Magnum handgun during an interview with a Secret Service Agent.

Knowing the above information, Agent Simpkins asked Ryan if he was armed, to which he replied he was. Agents Simpkins and Gruler watched him closely, but could not see a weapon. They continued to engage Ryan in conversation while a call for assistance was made to the Denver Police Department.

At about 3:19pm, Agent Watkins walked out of his office to the reception counter gate, moving toward the main entrance door. Suddenly, Ryan jumped from his seat and asked Watkins what he was doing, while reaching with his right hand to draw a Colt .45 automatic from its concealed position under his heavy corduroy coat. Watkins immediately moved toward Ryan, grabbing for the weapon in an effort to disarm him. Two shots were fired by Ryan and struck Watkins. Watkins managed to draw his weapon after being shot and fired a single shot before collapsing. Agent Gruler also fired four shots and Ryan dropped his gun as he slid down the wall to the floor.
Agent Watkins died later that evening. Ryan, who was struck by all five bullets fired at him, died that afternoon.
Source: U. S. Secret Service.


Patrolman Augustus J. Perreira
Colorado Springs Police Department

On April 12, 1980, Officer Perreira had stopped at the 7-11 at 2555 Delta Drive, unaware that a disturbance had been called in. While inside, Perreira was contacted by the store clerk who requested that he speak to a male who was later identified as Seth Buckmaster. Buckmaster had been causing a disturbance. Perreira spoke to Buckmaster, who appeared somewhat disturbed, and then escorted him outside. As Buckmaster began walking toward the door, he was heard to say that he was not going to be taken to jail. As they reached the exterior of the building, Buckmaster produced a weapon and shot Perreira. Perreira returned fire, wounding the suspect, but the officer's wound was fatal.
Buckmaster was later tried and found not guilty by reason of insanity. He was committed to the Colorado State Hospital, where he remains to this day.
Source: Colorado Springs Police Department.


Officer Perry Messina
Federal Heights Police Department

On September 3, 1980, Officer Messina was on an emergency run to assist another officer in a pursuit. He had the lights and sirens operating on his patrol car. When he entered the intersection at West 84th and Federal, he was hit broadside by a pickup truck driven by Robert Moran. The pickup was moving on a green light. Messina was pinned in his patrol car and died at the scene from head and internal injuries.
Source: Rocky Mountain News.


Sheriff Deputy Edward A. Martinez
Denver Sheriff's Department 

Denver Sheriff’s Deputy Edward A. Martinez, 35, died from a heart attack after a fight with a prisoner on November 15, 1980. Deputy Martinez was processing a prisoner for drunk driving. The prisoner was drunk, uncooperative and combative and resisted. The fight lasted about two minutes before Martinez and other deputies were able to subdue him. As soon at the prisoner was placed in a holding cell Martinez collapsed. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Denver General Hospital.

Trooper James K. Farris
Colorado State Patrol

On November 29, 1980, Trooper Farris was killed while pursuing an eastbound traffic violator near Frisco on Interstate 70. During the pursuit, the patrol car went out of control, ran off the road, and rolled. Farris was wearing his seatbelt, but the force of the rollover was so severe that he sustained critical injuries. He died a short time later at Summit Medical Center in Frisco.

1981-Present

Sheriff Eugene E. Kiefer
Clear Creek County

On February 10, 1981, Sheriff Eugene Kiefer suffered a massive heart attack at the Arapahoe Camp Ground on Squaw Pass.  Sheriff Kiefer was with members of the Alpine Search & Rescue Team as they were looking for a possible missing person.  Sheriff Kiefer had been at the campground since about 7:30 AM.  At 9:10 AM he was walking with an Alpine S & R member when the Sheriff complained that he was tired and was going back to his office.  He got in his vehicle and started the engine.  As the Alpine S & R guy walked away he heard the engine rev up fast and steady so returned to the vehicle to find the sheriff slumped over the wheel.  No pulse or heartbeat could be found so CPR was begun with oxygen also administered.  An ambulance was called for and Sheriff Kiefer was transported to Lutheran Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 11:03 AM.  Sheriff Kiefer had a previous heart attack in March of 1978.  He had served as Sheriff of Clear Creek County since the election of 1974.  He was survived by his wife, Delores; a son, Randy; and two daughters, Mrs. Sue Wallace and Mrs. Jane Lindstrom.


Officer Kathleen Garcia
Denver Police Department

On March 28, 1981, Officer Kathleen Garcia had finished some reports from her late shift at District One and then headed home. While sitting in her car in front of her residence, Garcia was shot once in the head by an unknown assailant. She got out of her car, took a few steps and collapsed on the sidewalk.

Garcia later died at Denver General Hospital from her wounds. Although an extensive investigation yielded a few suspects, the murder of the 24-year-old Garcia remains unsolved.


Officer Debra Sue Corr
Aurora Police Department

On June 27, 1981, Officer Debra Sue Corr was patrolling alone when she contacted a motorist for a traffic violation in the 1500 block of Moline Street. The motorist, Joseph M. Ervin, broke free as she attempted to arrest and handcuff him. Ervin then took Corr's weapon and shot her in the head.

As this was happening, Aurora Explorer Scout Glen Spies passed by and tried to help. Spies was shot in the back, but survived. Ervin was arrested at his home in Aurora as he tried to saw the handcuffs from his wrist.


Sergeant Frank McAteer
La Plata County

On July 4, 1981, Sergeant Frank McAteer died from a heart attack while booking a prisoner at the La Plata County jail.  Sgt McAteer was assigned to work in Bayfield, CO to assist the Bayfield Town Marshal, Les Seeley.  It was a holiday weekend and Marshal Seeley arrested a suspect for disorderly conduct.  The suspect was over 6’ tall and weighed well over 200 lbs.  He resisted arrest and had to be subdued by the marshal and Sgt. McAteer.  The suspect was transported to the jail in Durango where McAteer complained that the suspect had struck him several times in the chest during the struggle.  He also complained of pain in his legs and chest.  McAteer believed the pain in his chest was from the blows he received in the struggle.  His last words, prior to his collapse, were addressed to the suspect stating “You know, it’s people like you who put peace officers in hospitals or drive them to Pueblo”.  McAteer charged the suspect with assault on a peace officer, believing the suspect had injured him.  The autopsy report done by the coroner stated that it was probable that the onset of the thrombosis was affected by the exertion prior to (the heart attack) and was consistent with this history.


Officer Leroy Talbert
Denver Police Department

On August 31, 1981, Officer Leroy Talbert suffered a heart attack while working out in the department gym. He was rushed to Porter’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.  Officer Talbert was a dog handler and was attending a mandatory, required workout with other officers of the Special Services Unit.  They had been exercising for 35 minutes when complained of chest pains.  He joined the Denver PD in 1961. 


Reserve Officer Richard E. Hart

Firestone Police Department

 
On October 16, 1982, Officer Hart stopped Bernie Jacobs on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol. When Hart reached into Jacobs' car to remove the keys, Jacobs sped way. Hart was thrown to the ground and was seriously wounded as a result of the incident. Hart succumbed to his injuries two days later.


Patrolman Mark L. Dabling
Colorado Springs Police Department

On December 6, 1982, Patrolman Mark Dabling was walking to his patrol car during a traffic stop, when the driver, Vernon Templeman, emerged from his car with a sawed-off .44 Magnum rifle and shot Dabling in the back. Templeman then abandoned his car, stole another car and was captured just south of Colorado Springs a short time later. Patrolman Dabling died in surgery at Penrose Hospital.

Templeman, a career criminal, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was also convicted of robbery and burglary charges and sentenced to an additional 16 years.
Source: Denver Post.


Patrolman Frederick C. Rehmer
Fort Morgan Police Department

On December 18, 1982, Patrolman Frederick Rehmer was responding to a report of a fight in progress. Despite the fact that his emergency lights were flashing, Rehmer's vehicle collided with another vehicle as he was trying to pass it. Rehmer's vehicle went out of control and struck a tree. Rehmer was pronounced dead at the scene.
Source: Denver Post; Colorado State Patrol Accident Blotter.


Reserve Officer Larry F. McMaster

Montrose Police Department

 
On April 23, 1983, Montrose police officers responded to a man with a gun call at the No Delay Bar. Officer McMaster and Officer Steve Keep responded to the rear of the bar, while two other officers responded to the front. Keep, McMaster and Montrose County Sheriff's Deputy G. Jackson entered the rear door of the bar. There was a large crowd of patrons in the bar and the officers detected no signs of a disturbance, nor any indication of danger. As the officers approached the bar area, Hurbano Garcia turned and fired three shots at the officers. Two of the shots struck Keep and the third struck McMaster in the head. Officer Keep recovered from his wounds, but Officer McMaster died two days later.


Corporal Edgar B. Rains Jr.
Northglenn Police Department

On May 30, 1984, the daughter of Edward D. Quintana summoned police to their residence because her father was threatening her mother with a gun. Corporal Edgar Rains and car partner Collis Woods responded. When they reached the Quintana residence, Rains covered the north corner while Woods covered the south corner.

Quintana brandished a weapon, and when ordered to drop it, he began to raise it into firing position. Woods fired one round from a 12-gauge shotgun toward Quintana. When Quintana ducked back into the house, the shotgun pellets continued to the north and struck Rains in the face and chest. Backup officers were called and Quintana was arrested, but it wasn't until later that Rains was discovered at the north corner of the house, lying on his stomach.


Special Agent Clifton Browning Jr.
Federal Bureau of Investigation

On December 8, 1984, Special Agent Browning had flown a surveillance mission near Laramie, Wyoming and was returning to Grand Junction, when he experienced mechanical difficulties near Meeker, and crashed in a heavy snow squall at about 5:45pm. Browning had served 21 years with the Bureau prior to his death and had been stationed in Glenwood Springs since 1972.
Source: FBI.


Officer Thomas J. Dietzman Jr.
Aurora Police Department

On August 16, 1985, Officer Dietzman was present at the department's firing range to test for selection to the Special Weapons and Tactics Squad (S.W.A.T.) Unit. He had completed the physical agility testing and was the first applicant that day to take the firearms proficiency test. While taking the test, Dietzman was accidentally shot one time in the back of the head with a MAC 10 automatic pistol. Investigation revealed that Dietzman did nothing wrong which contributed to his death. Dietzman had been an officer with the Aurora Police Department for about five years.
Sources: Aurora Police Department; The Denver Post.


Deputy William J. Truesdale

Jefferson County

 
On June 18, 1986, Deputy Truesdale was working off duty as a bank guard at Citywide Bank, 3345 South Wadsworth. At about 11:00am, the 53-year old deputy confronted two men in ski masks when they entered the bank and was shot twice in the chest. Deputy Truesdale was pronounced dead at St. Anthony's hospital when resuscitation efforts failed.
 
The two men, later identified as Anthony Lucero and Richard Borrego, fled the bank without taking anything. Borrego was arrested later that day and Lucero was arrested several weeks later on a reservation in South Dakota. Both men were convicted of First Degree Murder and other charges, and sentenced to life in prison.
 
Later investigation revealed that Lucero was in the Jefferson County Jail twelve days earlier while Deputy Truesdale was working his shift, and before Lucero bonded out. Later statements by Lucero made it clear he knew he had killed a police officer.


Officer Patrick J. Pollock
Denver Police Department

On December 12, 1986, at 4:20 p.m., the Denver Police Department received a call of a stick-up in progress at The Colfax News, a bookstore located at 8216 East Colfax Avenue. Officer Pollock and Officer Dan Saracino were a block away eating at Paisan's Pizzeria, so both officers left the restaurant and ran toward the book store. Pollock began to chase the suspect, Jackie Eugene Jones Jr., who ran through a gateway of a nearby home.

Saracino, after mistakenly chasing after a person who was not a suspect, headed toward Officer Pollock and the suspect. As the suspect entered the yard of the home, several shots were fired and struck Pollock in the head, neck and chest. Saracino ran into the front yard of the home where Pollock had fallen and fired at the suspect, who was in the middle of the street, and then stopped to aid his partner. The suspect began to slow down and finally fell to the ground across the street from the fallen officer.

Pollock and Jones were transported to Denver General Hospital, where Officer Pollock expired at 6:30pm while in surgery. Jones also died from his injuries while in surgery, at 10:00pm.
Source: Code 109.


Officer James E. Wier
Denver Police Department

On June 3, 1987, Officer Wier and Officer Jimmy Gose were dispatched to 40 South Pennsylvania Street for a "man-with-a-gun call". As the officers arrived at the home, they could see a man, later identified as Charles Tarr, behind the screen door with a rifle or shotgun in his hands. The officers went for cover, Wier crouching behind a three-foot stucco wall and Gose behind a car, just before Tarr opened fire. Officer Wier then rose up from behind the retaining wall to return fire. As he attempted his third shot, Tarr shot him fatally in the head.

Gose then called for back-up, which arrived within minutes. Before the mayhem was over, Sergeants Ronald Samson and Peter Diaz were also wounded, Samson seriously. Tarr finally ended his "war" by turning his gun on himself.
Sources: The Denver Post; "In the Line of Duty".


Deputy Stephen P. Miller
Jefferson County

On June 16, 1987, at about 7:00 p.m., Deputy Miller and Warrant Officer Roger Pettner, who were flying a two-seat patrol helicopter, were dispatched to the Scar Top Mountain area of Coal Creek Canyon to search the rugged terrain for a 15-year-old boy who had threatened suicide and had run from his residence.

During the search, the helicopter's engine failed and the aircraft crashed in the Coal Creek Canyon area. Deputy Miller, who was taken to the hospital with two broken legs, a spiral fracture of the back and a crushed shoulder, died the next day, June 17, from cardiac arrest. Officer Pettner, the pilot of the helicopter, survived the crash with only cuts and a fractured foot.
Source: The Denver Post.


Deputy Daniel R. Stillwell
Denver Sheriff's Department

On September 5, 1987, Timothy Vialpando was taken to Denver General Hospital for treatment of a minor stab wound. He was scheduled to go on trial in a few days for sexual assualt against a 13-year-old girl. After treatment, he was shackled to a bed in a room on the 7th floor.

Deputy Daniel Stillwell was on duty at the hospital that night, assigned to check on inmates (such as Vialpando) who were not in the locked ward. At about 2:45am on Sunday, September 6th, Stillwell entered Vialpando's room for a routine check of his leg irons. Vialpando attacked the deputy, and after a brief struggle, got Stillwell's .38 caliber revolver and shot him twice in the chest.

Vialpando managed to remove his leg irons and fled into the street. Hospital security guards pursued him to 8th and Cherokee, where he was captured with Stillwell's gun still in his hand.


Trooper Charles A. Fry
Colorado State Patrol

On September 26, 1987, Trooper Fry was on routine patrol of Interstate 25 when he contacted a northbound vehicle south of the Douglas County line. He was issuing a traffic citation when a drunk driver struck Fry as he stood by the vehicle. The drunk driver, Brent Richstrew, failed to stop and was later apprehended by another Trooper. Richstrew was convicted of vehicular homicide and is now residing in the Colorado State Penitentiary. 


Agent Edward L. Hockom
Aurora Police Department

On September 18, 1987, Agent Edward Hockom contacted a red Ford pickup that fit the description of a vehicle leaving the scene of an armed robbery at a convenience store ten minutes earlier. The driver, Marvin Walker Jr., shot Agent Hockom in the head and then took off in his pickup.

Other Aurora officers pursued the pickup on I-25 and I-70 to I-270, where it stopped after colliding with a police car driven by Patrolman Michael Thrapp. Walker was arrested and charged with murder, as well as for three robberies in the hour prior to the shooting. Agent Hockom died at Denver General Hospital on September 21st.


Detective Robert W. Wallis
Denver Police Department

On February 9, 1988, Denver Police officers were pursuing a robbery suspect who was fleeing in a stolen truck. Detective Wallis heard the pursuit coming in his direction, jumped from his unmarked car, and ran across the road when the suspect ran him down in the 4700 block of Tennyson Street. Wallis died at the scene about 1:30pm.

The suspect crashed the truck four blocks later, fled on foot for a half-mile, commandeered another truck and forced the man to drive him to a shopping center parking lot. On the way to the shopping center, a Channel 4 TV helicopter, which had been taping the pursuit, landed in the truck's path. Officers surrounded the truck and opened fire while removing the uninjured hostage from the driver's seat. The suspect was killed at the scene.
Source: The Denver Post.


Sergeant Dale McLaughlin
Adams County

On December 26, 1988, veteran Sergeant McLaughlin and Deputy Duncan MacDonald were attempting to break up a family disturbance. At first, suspect Clifford Wayne Wiley appeared to be calm and composed and the situation appeared to be under control. However, when MacDonald asked Wiley for identification, the 53-year-old man yanked a semi-automatic pistol gun from his waistband and opened fire on the officers. MacDonald was struck in the side through an opening in his bulletproof vest and dropped to the floor. McLaughlin was hit twice in the chest, once in the arm and once in the leg. Despite his injuries, MacDonald was able to shoot Wiley at least once.

McLaughlin was taken to Denver General Hospital where he was pronounced dead less than an hour later. Wiley died at the scene.
Source: The Denver Post.


Trooper Joseph A. Ynostroza
Colorado State Patrol

On December 6, 1989, Trooper Ynostroza died in a head-on collision with a semi-tanker truck east of Alamosa on Highway 160. His patrol car drifted across the roadway, striking the rear wheels of an eastbound gasoline tanker. Investigators believe Ynostroza fell asleep at the wheel while en route to his home in Cortez after attending a Drug Recognition Training class in Denver. Ynostroza was wearing his seatbelt and the air bag in the patrol car deployed at the time of collision. In this particular case, the safety equipment proved to be inadequate because of the tremendous force of the collision. 


Deputy Hugh A. Martin
El Paso County

On April 13, 1992, at about 10:00 p.m., a 12-man SWAT team approached a mobile home on the east side of Colorado Springs for a no-knock raid. Deputy Martin, who was the first officer inside the home, was immediately shot in the chest with an assault rifle by Robert Sickich. Two deputies behind Martin fired six shots at the suspect, who was paralyzed by the bullets that hit him in the head and chest.

Martin, who had been a member of the department's SWAT team for just over a year, succumbed to his injuries despite the fact that he was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Sickich was charged and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for the murder of Deputy Martin. Sickich's wife, Wendy Lu Sickich, who returned home just after the shooting incident, was charged with possession of cocaine and intent to distribute the drug, and was sentenced to 22 years in the women's prison at Canon City.
Source: The Denver Post.


Technician Lyle F. Wohlers
Colorado State Patrol

On November 4, 1992, at 4:30 p.m., Technician Wohlers contacted a vehicle with two juvenile occupants for a traffic violation one mile east of Georgetown on Interstate 70. After calling for assistance, Wohlers was shot in the head by one of the juveniles. The suspects fled before backup could arrive. At 7:00 p.m., the two juvenile suspects were arrested as they traveled from Georgetown to Denver. The car was later determined to be stolen. The juveniles were tried as adults and convicted. Marcus Fernandez pulled the trigger and was sentenced to life in prison. His accomplice, T.J. White, was sentenced to 32 years. Wohlers succumbed to his injuries on November 5, 1992.


Deputy Norman Anthony Silva II
Denver Sheriff Department

 
On February 3, 1993, Deputy "Tony" Silva was accidentally shot and killed just after Silva and his partner, Deputy John Cordova, had delivered a prisoner to the city jail at 1331 Cherokee Street. Deputy Silva had picked up Deputy Cordova's gun and unloaded it for safety reasons. When the two officers reached their van, Silva showed the bullets in his hand and handed the gun to Cordova, butt first and with the cylinder open. Cordova snapped the cylinder closed with a flick of his hand and inadvertently pulled the trigger. The gun fired and Deputy Silva was struck by the discharge. Both officers had believed the gun was unloaded, but it appears that one of the bullets had hung up in the cylinder, leading to the tragic accident.


Investigator Roland O. Lackey
Arapahoe County

On October 27, 1993, at 4:50 p.m., Deputy Roland O. Lackey suffered a heart attack.  He had been under a great deal of stress as he was working the Lori Anne Lowe murder case that occurred August 2, 1993.  Two suspects were arrested two months later.  Deputy Lackey had been with Arapahoe County since 1980 and prior to that had spent 7 years with the Commerce City PD.


Officer Beth Haynes
Boulder Police Department

On April 16, 1994, at 12:18 p.m., Officer Beth Haynes was dispatched to a Boulder apartment complex on a report of a suicidal male. The man, Ali Kalamy, was crouched in front of a vehicle in the apartment parking lot. Haynes ordered him away from the vehicle, but this only made Kalamy hostile. He charged over the top of the vehicle, firing at Haynes with a 9mm handgun.

Haynes returned fire as she sought cover behind the vehicle. She hit Kalamy three times, but he continued to advance and shoot at the officer. When he reached the rear of the vehicle, Haynes's gun had jammed, and before she could slide under the vehicle, Kalami shot her in the head.

Kalamy then fled to a nearby apartment where his ex-girlfriend was hiding, and tried to break in the door. When he was unable to gain entry, Kalamy shot himself in the head.


Sheriff Roger D. Coursey
Hinsdale County

On November 18, 1994, a series of burglaries took place in Creede. At 5:50am, Sheriff Roger Coursey and Undersheriff Ray Blaum stopped a suspicious pickup truck and contacted the occupants, Mark Allen Vredenburg and Ruth Slater. As Coursey stood near the driver's door, Vredenburg shot him in the chest, killing him instantly.

Blaum fired at the pickup as it sped away on Colorado 149. The pickup was found abandoned a short time later, and a manhunt began for the suspects. Several weeks later, the bodies of Slater and Vredenburg were found on a hill overlooking Lake City, an apparent murder-suicide.


Officer Shawn Leinen
Denver Police Department

On February 25, 1995, police were called to the area of the 300 block of East Cedar Avenue to check out a report of shots fired. Officer Leinen arrived at the scene, and while questioning the woman who made the report, Leinen spotted a young man leaving a nearby car. The youth, 16-year-old Raymond Gone, took off running and Leinen chased him between two houses. Then, Leinen radioed in that he had the suspect in custody and that he needed backup. After a period of silence, Leinen transmitted a final radio call of shots fired. As he reported that, other officers who were arriving on the scene heard shots reverberate through the neighborhood.

Officer Leinen was killed by two bullets fired into his head by a .25 automatic Raven. Gone was apprehended about 13 minutes after the shooting and was later taken into custody. Gone was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for the shooting death of Officer Leinen.
Sources: The Denver Post; Rocky Mountain News.


Sergeant Timothy M. Mossbrucker
Jefferson County

On April 28, 1995, Sergeant Mossbrucker responded to the Albertson's supermarket at South Kipling and West Bowles on a report of a shooting rampage. Albert Petrosky had killed his estranged wife and a co-worker, and had injured another person who had just dropped Petrosky's wife off at work. Petrosky was fleeing the store just as Sergeant Mossbrucker arrived in his patrol car. While still sitting in his patrol car, Mossbrucker was shot and killed by Petrosky. Apparently, Mossbrucker never saw Petrosky.

Petrosky surrendered to deputies and was charged with second-degree murder for the deaths of his wife and her co-worker, and first-degree murder for the death of Mossbrucker. Petrosky was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the three shooting deaths. However, he took his own life before he was ever formally sentenced.
Source: The Denver Post.


Corporal Ronald R. Beatty
Larimer County

On October 10, 1995, Corporal Ronald R. Beatty suffered a heart attack after a verbal and physical altercation with a suspect at a disturbance call in Loveland.  A Loveland PD officer responded to Beatty’s ‘officer needs assistance’ call.  The situation had calmed down when the Loveland officer arrived.  The Loveland officer was speaking with the suspect’s family while Cpl. Beatty was escorting the suspect to his police car.  Beatty collapsed on the sidewalk.  EMS was immediately summoned and transported him to McKee Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.  Cpl. Beatty did not have a prior history of heart trouble.  His doctor, who was present at the autopsy, stated that it was reasonable to assume that the onset of the heart attack was brought about by the altercation that had occurred just prior to this event.
Sources: Larimer County Sheriff's Office; Daily Reporter-Herald.


Deputy Brent A. Holloway
Teller County

On October 16, 1995, Deputy Holloway was found shot to death in his patrol car in the early morning hours. Holloway had been guarding a house at 416 Cochetopa, west of Divide, until fire investigators could return to investigate a blaze that had destroyed the luxurious home. While Holloway was sitting in his patrol car, Adam Whitney Cooper, an ex-convict, snuck up behind him and fired a bullet into the unsuspecting deputy's head. It was later discovered that Cooper had set the blaze to lure police to the scene so he could get revenge against the police and the judicial system for his years in prison. Cooper later killed himself to avoid being captured after authorities had identified him.
Sources: The Denver Post; Rocky Mountain News.


Officer Trevor R. Staszak
Buena Vista Police Department

On October 26, 1996, Officer Staszak responded to a car/deer accident four miles south of Buena Vista on U.S. 285. As Staszak stepped out of his patrol car, a southbound vehicle driven by Marci D. Musgrove struck him. Staszak was thrown about 50 feet upon impact, and was pronounced dead at the scene from severe head injuries. In a bizarre twist of fate, Officer Staszak's wife Kelli was in the passenger seat of Staszak's patrol vehicle as he was struck by Musgrove's vehicle. At that time, the Buena Vista Police Department allowed officers to occasionally take their wives on ride-alongs. Marci Musgrove later pled guilty to vehicular homicide and driving under the influence.
Sources: Mountain Mail; Chaffee County Times; The Denver Post; Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph.


Officer Ronald L. DeHerrera
Denver Police Department

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.
Sources: The Denver Post; Rocky Mountain News.


Officer Bruce L. VanderJagt
Denver Police Department

On November 12, 1997, police responded to a burglary at Buffalo Creek, in the foothills southwest of Denver. This led to a pursuit by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department that ended at a condominium complex on Monaco Street in south Denver. By this time, Denver Police officers had become involved. Suspect Matthaeus Jaehnig ran into an apartment yard, and from that position, he began shooting at officers with a fully automatic weapon. When Officer VanderJagt approached the yard, Jaehnig gunned him down with a hail of bullets.
Three hours later, Jaehnig was found dead in the yard. He had committed suicide with VanderJagt's service revolver.
Sources: The Denver Post; Rocky Mountain News.


Michael E. Dowd 
Denver Police Department

Detective Michael Dowd died on December 6, 1997 from complications of injuries received when he was shot during an attempted arrest 28 years earlier.  On November 28, 1969, Detective Dowd and Detective Steve Metros had just left the courthouse when they observed a Thunderbird with four occupants traveling the same direction on w/b Colfax approaching Speer Blvd.  They recognized one of the occupants as a felon named Louis Gomez and followed the car but the driver (later identified as James (Mad Dog) Sherbondy, 49) spotted the unmarked police car behind them and sped up to get away.  The detectives activated their emergency equipment in an attempt to stop the car and a short chase ensued that ended in an alley near 13th and Welton Street.  Detective Metros approached from the passenger side and held three of the men at gunpoint while the driver took off running with Detective Dowd in pursuit.  The foot pursuit ended near 15th and California when Dowd rounded the corner and was grabbed by Sherbondy who immediately began shooting Dowd.  Detective Dowd got off one shot which struck Sherbondy in the left armpit causing his death within minutes.  Detective Dowd was shot six times and transported to Denver General Hospital with bullet wounds to his left shoulder, abdomen, left leg and 3 shots to his right leg.  The abdominal injury resulted in damage to his liver and pancreas.  Fingerprints later identified the shooter as Sherbondy, an escapee from the prison honor camp at Buckley Air Base 50 days earlier.  Detective Dowd was off for 9 months before returning briefly in September 1970.  He was off again in 1972 to remove one of the bullets in his leg and additional issues with his pancreas and from that point on he was an insulin dependent diabetic.  He subsequently underwent several other surgeries including the removal of his pancreas in 1974.  His job, when he returned to work was to manage the DPD Police Athletic League (PAL) program due to his restricted physical ability.  Detective Dowd received a disability retirement in 1991 with medical conditions including peripheral vascular disease, ischemic heart disease, diabetic retinopathy and, later, congestive heart failure.  Both legs were subsequently amputated too.  Michael E. Dowd died six years later at age 62.  He had begun his career with Denver PD in 1959.


Officer Dale Claxton
Cortez Police Department

On May 29, 1998, Officer Claxton spotted a water truck that had been stolen the previous day in Ignacio. The truck voluntarily pulled over near the south edge of Cortez and Claxton pulled in behind the truck. Witnesses stated that "men in camouflage" jumped from the truck and fired numerous rounds from automatic weapons into the patrol car, killing Claxton.

The three suspects fled from the scene, stealing another truck and subsequently shooting and seriously injuring Deputy Jason Bishop and Sergeant Todd Martin of the Montezuma County Sheriff's Office in separate incidents. A massive manhunt began in the Four Corners region and lasted for several weeks. During that time, one suspect was found dead, having apparently committed suicide to avoid capture after wounding Deputy Kelly Bradford of San Juan County, Utah, on June 4. The other suspects remain at large.


Deputy Ronald M. King
Douglas County

On May 21, 1999, Deputy Ron King and his partner Deputy Chris Washburn were driving their motorcycles southbound on U. S. 85, south of Titan Road. A northbound van made a left turn in front of the deputies, colliding with both motorcycles. Deputy King died enroute to the hospital. Deputy Washburn sustained injuries but survived.

Anthony Ray Sanchez, the driver of the van, was arrested for drunk driving and driving with a revoked license. On March 7, 2000, Sanchez was convicted of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, reckless driving and drunk driving.
Source: The Denver Post.


Officer Dennis M. Licata
Denver Police Department

On September 6, 2000, Motorcycle Officer Licata died as a result of injuries suffered when his motorcycle collided with a car at about 2:15 p.m. Officer Licata and his partner, Officer Roberson, were responding to a construction accident at 18th Avenue and Washington Street. Just west of Shoshone on 13th Avenue, the railroad crossing signals were flashing as the officers approached. Officer Licata accelerated through the crossing and collided with the passenger side of a Honda that was making a left turn from westbound 13th onto southbound Shoshone.


Trooper Jason Manspeaker
Colorado State Patrol

On January 23, 2001, Trooper Manspeaker was responding to a call regarding the possible sighting of two fugitives of the "Texas Seven", who were wanted for the slaying of an Irving, Texas police officer. After passing eastbound through the Eisenhower Tunnel on dry pavement, Trooper Manspeaker's vehicle hit the steep, icy off ramp of U.S. 6, skidding into a trailer legally parked in a snow-covered dirt pullout. Despite the efforts of another Trooper to resuscitate him, Trooper Manspeaker died of his injuries. Sadly, the vehicle Trooper Manspeaker was seeking did not contain the "Texas Seven" fugitives, but instead was determined to belong to a local construction worker. 


Officer Ryan Cunningham
Vail Police Department

On May 6, 2001, at about 5:00 a.m., Officer Cunningham was on eastbound Interstate 70, at the east end of the bridge over Gore Creek. He was preparing to place flares around the scene of a multi-car crash, when an approaching truck tractor/semi-trailer started to slide on the icy surface while attempting to stop. Officer Cunningham warned others about the oncoming truck, and then jumped over the median barrier to get out of the way. He didn't realize that he was 55 feet above the ground and fell to his death below. Ironically, the truck stopped 100 feet short of Cunningham's position.


Sergeant (Interim Chief) Daniel C. Dalley
Fruita Police Department

On June 1, 2001, Chief Dalley was at work when he was advised that one of his children was ill and was being transported to the hospital. He left work on his personal motorcycle (his assigned patrol car had been loaned to another officer) to check on his other children and then return to work.

At 11:15am, Chief Dalley was in full uniform, traveling westbound on Highway 6, when he collided with an eastbound vehicle that turned left in front of him at M Road. Dalley died on June 3 from the injuries he received in the crash. The other driver was cited for causing the crash.


District Wildlife Manager Philip Keith Mason
Colorado Division of Wildlife

On September 3, 2001, District Wildlife Manager Mason was loading bales of hay on a truck at the Harris Beaver Creek Ranch (a State Wildlife Area). Mason died when a large bale of hay rolled over the top of the tractor he was operating and landed on him, causing massive head injuries.


Deputy Jason Scott Schwartz
Fremont County

On September 28, 2001 in the evening, Deputy Schwartz was shot and killed by one of two prisoners he was transporting to the Sheriff's office. Schwartz had responded to an incident in Penrose involving the killing of a dog. Joel Stovall and his brother Michael had been arrested in the incident and placed in Schwartz's patrol car for transport. Apparently, Michael Stovall was carrying two handguns in the waistband of his pants, and at about 8:45pm, he shot Deputy Schwartz in the head near the intersection of U.S. Highway 50 and State Highway 115.

The brothers escaped, gathered some weapons in Florence, then shot and seriously injured Corporal Toby Bethel of the Florence Police Department. They led officers on a chase to the west, shooting at numerous officers and wounding Deputy Wes Orosco, before abandoning their pickup near Swissvale early in the morning of September 29.

At about 10:00 that evening, the brothers were discovered hiding in a creek bed near Highway 50 and Chaffee County Road 101. Colorado Parks Rangers Casey Swanson and J. W. Wilder and Division of Wildlife Officer Chris Parmeter arrested the brothers without incident. Their weapons included an AK-47 assault rifle with a 30-round magazine and scope.

Both brothers pled guilty to first degree murder, 18 counts of attempted murder and one count of aggravated robbery. In November 2001, they were sentenced to life in prison plus 896 years.


Senior Biologist James Olterman

Wildlife Manager – Colorado Division of Wildlife

 
On September 4, 2002, Wildlife Manager James Olterman, 57, died when the Cessna 185 he was piloting crashed near Hunts Peak in Fremont County. The crash occurred approximately 6:55a.m.while Olterman was on an aerial fish stocking mission of Hunts Lake, and other alpine lakes, west of Howard, CO. Olterman had stocked Hunts lake before and had discussed the plan with other DOW pilots prior to his takeoff. Winds were calm when he departed the Salida airport about 6:40a.m. that morning but winds increased and other pilots were unable to raise him on the radio to warn him of the increasing downdraft's. Later they picked up an ELT signal and began searching for the plane. It was found about mid-morning on a ridge (elevation 11,662 feet) northeast of Hunts Lake. Pilot James Olterman died upon impact. A passenger, Brandon White, 23, survived the impact with injuries to his arm, shoulder and back. He was found about a mile from the crash scene by search and rescue and transported by horse and ATV and reached Howard at 5:45p.m., before being transported to the Salida hospital.
 
Some search and rescue personnel stayed at the crash site overnight to protect the scene. Olterman's remains were recovered the next day. The Cessna 185 (N24GS) was owned by the Division of Wildlife. James Olterman was a fully commissioned Wildlife Officer and his duties included biological and enforcement missions. He was survived by his wife, Robin, and three children. James Olterman was a Vietnam veteran and had been with the Division of Wildlife for 30 years.


Deputy Travis W. Sass
Larimer County


On June 29, 2004, at 12:45 p.m., Deputy Sass and Deputy Ian Stewart were enroute to the firearms range for weapon qualifications. Deputy Stewart was driving the patrol car, and they were northbound on Highway 287, about five miles north of Ted's Place (north of Ft. Collins). Stewart was making a left turn into a private drive when the patrol car was struck broadside by a southbound vehicle. Stewart's view of the southbound lane may have been obscured by a large truck directly in front of the patrol car.

Deputy Stewart was injured, as were the occupants of the other vehicle. Deputy Sass was pronounced dead at the Poudre Valley Hospital less than an hour after the crash.


Detective Donald Young II
Denver Police Department

On May 8, 2005, Detective Young and his partner, Detective John Bishop, were working security for a private party at the Salon Ocampo banquet hall in Denver. Early in the evening, the officers had turned away four young men who had attempted to enter the invitation-only party. One of the men, Raul Gomez-Garcia, was heard to threaten the officers. According to witnesses, Gomez-Garcia later returned to the banquet hall and shot both officers from behind. Detective Young died from his wounds; Detective Bishop recovered and later returned to his duties.

Gomez-Garcia fled to Los Angeles and then to Mexico. After a month-long manhunt, he was captured on June 4 in Culiacan, Mexico. Mexico later agreed to extradite Gomez-Garcia, and he was transported back to Denver on December 22, 2005. He has been charged with second degree murder and attempted first degree murder. His trial has been set for September 2006. This narrative will be updated as events unfold.


Ranger Jeffrey A. Christensen
National Park Service

On July 29, 2005, Ranger Christensen began a backcountry patrol in Rocky Mountain National Park. He left the Chapin Pass trailhead at about 11:00am, but failed to arrive at the Lawn Lake trailhead later that evening. After an extensive search, Christensen's body was discovered on August 6, below the eastern summit of Mount Chiquita in the Mummy Range. The coroner's report indicated that the time of death was probably between 6:00pm and midnight on July 29. Christensen apparently fell and suffered several injuries, including a fatal skull fracture.

After this incident, the National Park Service implemented several changes regarding backcountry patrols.


Special Agent Greg R. Boss

US Postal Service – Office of the Inspector General

 
On November 8, 2005, Special Agent Greg Boss, 35, was killed as a result of a felonious traffic crash. Jason Reynolds, 34, of Parker was recklessly driving a Jeep westbound on E-470, tailgating other traffic, when he came up behind a Toyota 4Runner being driven by Kelvin Norman. After Norman changed lanes, Reynolds passed Norman, pulled in front of him and hit his brakes. Norman swerved trying to miss Reynolds before traveling through the median, rolling his vehicle and landing upside down on a Ford Explorer driven by Boss who was traveling eastbound on E-470. The crash occurred just east of Parker Road and resulted in the deaths of SA Boss of Centennial and Mr. Norman, 50 of Highlands Ranch.
 
Reynolds was arrested about one month later, after an investigation, and after he was observed committing additional aggressive driving actions. He was also under the influence of marijuana when arrested. Reynolds had been the subject of three prior complaints about his aggressive driving and he had received a letter from the Colorado State Patrol about six weeks prior to this crash. Reynolds was subsequently charged and convicted by a jury, in January of 2007, of two counts of first degree murder with extreme indifference, two counts of vehicular homicide with aggravating circumstances and two counts of careless driving resulting in death. In April 2007, Jason Reynolds was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison. Reynolds conviction was upheld by the Colorado Court of Appeals on March 18, 2010.
 
At the time of his death, Special Agent Boss was actively working two different investigations with other agencies and was driving his assigned enforcement vehicle. He had been with the USPS-OIG for five years. Special Agent Boss was survived by his parents, two brothers, grandmother, two nieces and a nephew.
 
According to some legal experts, this case appears to have set a new precedent involving road rage situations that cause the death of others. A first degree murder charge is now an option when sufficient facts support it.


Detective Jared Scott Jensen
Colorado Springs Police Department

On February 22, 2006, Detective Jared Jensen was shot and killed while attempting arrest a parolee who was wanted for attempted murder.

Detective Jensen radioed dispatch that he had spotted the suspect near the intersection of Costilla Street and Hancock Avenue and that he was going to make contact with the suspect. After approaching the suspect, Detective Jensen was shot once in the face. Detective Jensen fell to the ground, and the suspect stood over him and shot him again in the face.

Four minutes later citizens called to report a shooting. Responding officers located Detective Jensen on the sidewalk suffering from two gunshot wounds. He was transported to Memorial Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

The suspect was apprehended by FBI and ATF agents following a massive manhunt and was subsequently convicted of second degree murder.

Detective Jensen had served with the Colorado Springs Police Department for 3.5 years. He is survived by his wife, parents, brother, sister, two stepbrothers, and two stepsisters. One of his brothers also serves with the Colorado Springs Police Department.


Agent Michael Del Thomas
Aurora Police Department

On September 20, 2006, Agent Michael Thomas was shot and killed by a suspect who opened fire on him while he sat a traffic light at the intersection of Peoria Street and Montview Boulevard.

Agent Thomas had just left a training session and was heading to another session when the incident occurred.

The shooter was subdued by several passers-by and then taken into custody by an Aurora police officer, and two Federal Bureau of Prisons corrections officers who happened to be in the area. The shooter was wanted in Denver for an unprovoked shooting that had occurred the previous week.

Agent Thomas had served with the Aurora Police Department for 24 years. He is survived by his daughter, mother, and brother.


Officer Kenneth C. Jordan
Colorado Springs Police Department

On December 5, 2006, at 11:15 p.m., Officer Ken Jordan was shot and killed while backing up an officer during a traffic stop of a suspected drunk driver on Fountain Boulevard

When Officer Jordan and the second backup officer approached the vehicle, the assailant opened fire, fatally wounding Officer Jordan. The other officer returned fire, seriously wounding the suspect. Officer Jordan was transported to Memorial Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds approximately one hour later. 

In December 2008, the suspect pleaded guilty to all charges in connection with Officer Jordan's murder and was sentenced to life in prison, plus 167 years. Officer Jordan had served with the Colorado Springs Police Department for 6 years. He is survived by his parents and sister.


Officer Douglas Byrne
Aurora Police Department


On March 26, 2007, at approximately 8:00 p.m., Officer Doug Byrne was killed in an automobile accident while responding to a medical emergency call.

A vehicle stopped directly in front of his patrol car at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Norfolk Street, causing him to take evasive action. Officer Byrne suffered massive injuries when he was ejected from the patrol car as it rolled over.

He was transported to Swedish Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries early the following morning.

Officer Byrne was a US Marine Corps veteran of the Gulf War. He had served with the Aurora Police Department for 3 years and had previously served with the Glendale Police Department for 6 years.


Trooper Zachariah Templeton
Colorado State Patrol

On October 11, 2007 at 4:40pm, Trooper Templeton and Trooper Scott Hinshaw were assisting a motorist who had lost one of two plastic farm chemical tanks he was hauling on a flatbed trailer in the median northbound on I-76, east of 96th Avenue. A Ford pickup driven by a juvenile heading northbound on I-76 approached the scene, not paying attention to traffic, and swerved to avoid hitting the slower moving vehicles in front of him. The juveniles maneuver placed him in the median, rear ending the motorists trailer and striking Troopers  Templeton and Hinshaw, but missing the motorist they were assisting.

Both Troopers suffered serious injuries and were transported to local hospitals. Unfortunately, Trooper Templeton succumbed to his injuries on October 12, 2007. 

Trooper Templeton had served with the Colorado State Patrol for 4 years, and was assigned to the 1D Troop in Adams County. He is survived by his 3-year-old daughter.


Officer Nicholas K. Heine
Pueblo Police Department

On June 22, 2008, at about 2:00 a.m., Pueblo Police Officer Nicholas K. Heine collapsed from a previously unknown heart condition, while running between bar disturbances, in the 300 Block of Victoria Street.  He was pronounced dead shortly after at Parkview Medical Center.  The coroner’s report identified a congenital heart defect that put Officer Heine’s heart into a fatal, irregular rhythm.  His heart defect was aggravated by his exertion that morning.

Off duty, Heine could be found instructing rookies in defense tactics or spending time with family, he also coached a youth team with the Runyon Football League. "At 30-years-old, he was a healthy guy, a real go-getter, and a skilled cop who was great at catching crooks," said Patricia Heine. "He was a great husband and father.


Sergeant David J. Kinterknecht
Montrose Police Department

On July 25, 2009 at about 8:40p.m., Montrose Officers Larry Witte and Rob Satterly arrived at a reported domestic disturbance in the 16900 block of 64.50 road. Montrose County deputies had arrived about 10 minutes earlier and determined the address was in the city. Officer Witte reported a barricaded subject in his detached garage who would not come out as requested. Officer Witte relayed this information to Sgt. Kinterknecht who was enroute to the call. Sergeant David Kinterknecht, Sgt. Bernie Chism and Officer Rodney Ragsdale arrived at the house shortly after 9p.m.

The house belonged to Dennis and Pamela Gurney. Pamela, 50, had called 911 as she escaped from the house with an injury to her arm from the dispute with her husband. Dennis, 52, had retreated to his garage and was reported to be intoxicated and despondent. The officers negotiated with Dennis for about 45 minutes. Officers knew there was a gun safe in the garage and also verified that Dennis did not have the keys to the gun safe as they were in the possession of other family members. A decision was made to enter the garage and Officer Satterly kicked the door open while Officer Witte entered the garage with Officer Ragsdale and Sgt. Kinterknecht just behind him. Gurney opened fire with a semi-automatic shotgun striking Officers Witte, Ragsdale and mortally wounding Sgt. Kinterknecht. Dennis Gurney then retreated to another portion of the garage and took his own life with a handgun. Sgt. Kinterknecht was struck in the chest in an area not protected by his vest. Officers Witte and Ragsdale received serious wounds to their legs from the shooting but were able to return fire at the suspect Gurney without hitting him. All three officers were rushed to Montrose Memorial Hospital where Sgt. David Kinterknecht succumbed to his wounds.

Montrose Police Department had numerous contacts with Dennis Gurney relating to domestic violence, restraining order violations and incidents relating to alcohol. The initial investigation revealed that the “Gun Safe” was actually a sheet metal gun locker that Gurney had peeled open, using hand tools, to access the weapons.

Sergeant David Kinterknecht, 41, was a 10-year veteran of the Montrose Police Department. He had previously served with the Telluride Marshal's Office, San Miguel County Sheriff's Office and Montrose County Sheriff's Office. Sergeant Kinterknecht was survived by his wife Kathy, two daughters, Andrea and Amanda, his mother Joann Topliss and stepfather Don, sister Denise and three stepsons. Officers Witte, 24, and Ragsdale, 53, although seriously wounded, are recovering from their injuries.


Deputy Samuel K. Brownlee
Weld County Sheriff's Office

On November 23, 2010 at 10:36 a.m., Deputies Sam Brownlee and Terry Reed were dispatched to Highway 34 and Weld County road 59 east of Kersey for a pursuit that was headed west from Morgan County. The vehicle being pursued was a black 2006 Nissan, reported stolen from Fort Morgan, traveling over 100 MPH. Deputy Brownlee followed in the pursuit until it concluded in Evans about 11 a.m.

The suspect, Ruben Reyes, age 20, finally stopped in the Cave Creek subdivision on Coyote Lane with his left front tire shredded from a stop stick. Reyes refused police commands to exit his vehicle and was pulled from the car by officers and he immediately began punching and fighting. During this altercation, everyone went to the ground where, during the chaos, Reyes somehow gained possession of Deputy Brownlee's gun and shot him three times. One of the bullets entered the vest at a shallow angle, exiting at the top of the vest, striking Deputy Brownlee in the head. Reyes was then shot by an Evans Police officer. Deputy Brownlee was pronounced dead a half hour later. Reyes died just after 4:00 PM Reyes was on probation for felony menacing and had previously been charged with driving under suspension twice.

Deputy Samuel K. Brownlee, 43, had served 5 years with the Weld County Sheriff's Office. He was a field Training Officer, Firearms Instructor and Taser Instructor. He previously served as an officer for the town of Ault. Deputy Brownlee was survived by his wife Heather, two sons, Tanner and Chase; and two stepchildren, Tyler and Maddie. He was also a member of the Blue Knights.


Jay W. Sheridan
Limon Police Department

On March 9, 2011, Officer Sheridan was shot and killed while attempting to serve a warrant on a convicted sex offender wanted in Tennessee. The U.S. Marshal's Service had notified Limon PD, based on a tip, that the subject was living in Limon. Officer Sheridan was shot when he (and other officers) attempted to arrest the suspect at a mobile home in Limon. The suspect committed suicide shortly after the shooting. Officer Jay Sheridan, 27, had served 6 years for the Limon PD and was survived by his wife, Heather and his infant daughter, Isabel.


David Roberts
Denver Police Department

On March 29, 1985, Officer Roberts was shot while holding three prisoners at an apartment house in south Denver. Officer Roberts was shot in the face suffering severe injuries that left him partially paralyzed on the left side of his body and with a permanent fistula in his sinus cavity. Officer Roberts subsequently died, at the age of 58, as a result of those injuries on May 27, 2011. He joined Denver PD in 1979 and was survived by his sister Donette Homra, and his daughter Jennifer Wedeking.
 


Mary Tyler
Colorado State Patrol

On January 15, 2008, Trooper Tyler was working in the 5C Montrose troop, during her shift, she was seriously injured when she fell as a result of icy conditions.  Subsequent to her injury, she underwent extensive medical treatments to include multiple surgeries.  In November 2009, Trooper Tyler separated employment and on November 23, 2012, Molly succumbed to her injuries and left behind her husband and four children. 


 

Jeremy Bitner
Englewood Police

On May 27, 2012, Englewood Police Detective Jeremy Bitner, 39, was struck by a hit and run driver while on a traffic stop. This occurred in the 5200 Block of South Broadway. He died from his injuries the next day. Officer Bitner had been with Englewood PD for over 7 years and was survived by his wife and two children. The hit and run driver was captured a short while later in Littleton and received multiple charges including DUI.


Warren W. Watts
Pueblo County SO

Sergeant Inspector Warren Watts, 53, died from a heart attack on June 16, 2012.  He had just completed his morning fitness run and collapsed at his home at 7:00 AM.  EMS responded and he was transported to St Mary-Corwin Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 7:41 AM.  The pathologists report indicated that Watts had suffered a non-fatal cardiac event within 24 hours of succumbing to the fatal cardiac event.  The previous day (15th) Watts had participated in a community event at Pueblo City Park as the SWAT team leader, for over 5 hours, demonstrating tactical assets of the SWAT team to young observers.  Later in the day he responded to a harassment call involving a neighborhood dispute over a blocked road.  He was observed to be physically uncomfortable during a meal that day and complained of a stomach ailment.  Both the 15th and 16th were scheduled days off that had been cancelled by the undersheriff due to special events.  On the 16th Sgt. Inspector Watts was intending to go to work, right after his fitness run, to meet with the US Secret Service reference the upcoming visit of Michelle Obama (scheduled for June 20th).  The medical examiner stated that Watts had suffered three cardiac events, the day of his death, the day before and, based on scar tissue, an event about a month earlier.  On May 10, 2012 Watts had rescued a 93 year old woman from a barricaded subject location and ran (while carrying her) a full block while in full tactical SWAT gear.  After the May rescue Watts had complained of heartburn and began taking an over-the-counter medication for this.  The first heart attack contributed to the next two heart attacks on the 15th and 16th which led to his death.  He was survived by his wife and two adult daughters.


Celena Hollis
Denver Police

On June 24, 2012, Denver Police Officer Celena Hollis, 32, was shot and killed while working a Jazz concert at Denver’s City Park. She was responding to a reported gang fight when struck in the head by a bullet. The shooter was captured by other responding officers and charged with First Degree Murder. Officer Hollis served the Detroit Police Department for 4 years before joining the Denver Police Department in 2005. She was survived by her daughter Amyre, her parents and numerous other relatives.


Matthew Tyner
Colorado Springs Police

On July 24, 2012, Colorado Springs Police Officer Matthew Tyner, 42, died from injuries he received when he was involved in a collision with another vehicle during a police pursuit. He was on his police motorcycle, pursuing another motorcycle, when a vehicle turned in front of him. The other driver did not see Officer Tyner approaching when he made his turn. The pursued motorcycle was not caught. Officer Tyner had been with CSPD for 13 years and was survived by his mother and stepfather and two brothers.


Leide William DeFusco
Pueblo County

On August 31, 2012, Pueblo County S.O. Captain Leide William DeFusco, 44, died in an airplane crash while working as an aerial Marijuana Spotter attempting to locate illegal Marijuana grows in the San Isabel National Forest. The plane was piloted by retired Pueblo Police Captain John Barger who also died in the crash. Captain DeFusco had 22 years in law enforcement and had been with the Pueblo County SO for 5 years. He served previously with the Pueblo Police Department and was survived by his wife and 4 children.


Jeffery Davies
Lakewood Police


On November 9, 2012, Lakewood Police Agent James Jeffery Davies, 35, died early in the morning when he was mistakenly shot and killed by another agent during a search of a residence at 1940 Eaton St. Lakewood agents had responded to the house on a report of “Shots fired” and had arrested 3 ‘uncooperative’ subjects. Three pit bull dogs were reported in the residence and movement was monitored through windows. Animal catch poles and tactical mirrors were brought to the scene to capture the dogs and complete the search of the house. While clearing the carport and yard an agent spotted a male looking over the fence with a gun in his hand. The agent fired when the male subject did not respond to verbal commands to drop the gun. Agent Davies was in full police uniform but it was obscured by the fence and darkness. Agent James Davies had been with Lakewood PD for over 6 years and was survived by his wife and two children.


Sergeant David M. Baldwin
Jefferson County

On January 26, 2014, at approximately 10:30 a.m., Sergeant David Baldwin was killed when his police motorcycle was struck head-on by another vehicle on Highway 93, at West 64th Parkway. The driver of the other vehicle attempted to illegally pass a third vehicle on a double-yellow line when he struck Sergeant Baldwin.

Sergeant Baldwin was a U.S. Air Force veteran and had served with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office for 27 years. He was assigned to the Traffic/Motorcycle Unit.


Sergeant Sean Renfro
Jefferson County

Sergeant Sean Renfro, 40, was killed on January 3, 2015 when he was struck by a car as he assisted at a snowy accident scene on Hwy 285 north of Conifer.  Sgt. Renfro was off duty, traveling with a friend (Sam Yesuratnam), on the highway when he stopped to assist at the scene of two accidents on the southbound side of the road.  Renfro and Yesuratnam assisted with traffic and allowed the family of one of the crashed cars to stay warm in his truck.  A northbound vehicle lost control on the icy road, traveled across the highway and struck Renfro and Yesuratnam and the truck they were standing by.  Yesuratnam was injured along with Trooper Jacob Cleveland who was hit by flying debris.  The driver of the car, Blair Gledhill, 22, subsequently plead guilty to two counts of Careless Driving Causing Injury.  Sgt. Renfro had been with the Jefferson County SO for 15 years and was survived by his wife and four children.


Trooper Taylor Thyfault
Colorado State Patrol

Cadet Trooper Taylor Thyfault, 21, was killed on May 23, 2015 when he was hit by a car being pursued by other officers.  Thyfault and his FTO, Trooper Clinton Rushing, 37, were assisting at an accident scene on Hwy 66 near County Line road, NE of Longmont about 8:00 AM.  A pursuit, which began near I-25 and Hwy 66, approached from the east.  Rushing was deploying ‘stop sticks’ while Thyfault was getting everybody off the road.  The pursued vehicle, Honda Civic driven by Christopher Lee Gebers, 27, attempted to avoid the ‘stop sticks’ and struck Rushing first then slid into Thyfault before sliding down an embankment.  Thyfault died at the scene.  Rushing received critical injuries.  A tow truck driver at the scene credited Thyfault with saving his life by keeping him out of the road before the pursued vehicle struck the two officers.  Gebers was arrested and is facing multiple charges.  Taylor Thyfault had just begun his Patrol career having started at the CSP Academy in March and was sworn in on March 24th.  He graduated from Windsor HS in 2012 then served in the U. S. Army.  He was survived by his mother.  Taylor Thyfault was posthumously promoted to Trooper, at his funeral.


Trooper Jaimie Jursevics 
Colorado State Patrol

Trooper Jaimie Jursevics, 33, was killed on November 15, 2015 when she was struck by and hit and run driver on southbound I-25 near Tomah Road in Douglas County.  The crash occurred about 8:30 PM.  Tpr. Jursevics was parked on the left shoulder of the road, with her emergency lights activated, assisting another trooper that was covering a crash south of her.  A citizen report of a possible drunk driver had her watching southbound traffic while talking to the reporting party on her cell phone.  She attempted to flag over the truck that was approaching in the slow moving traffic, however the driver struck her and continued south.  A short time later, a Palmer Lake officer stopped the truck on Spruce Mountain Road in Palmer Lake.  The suspect, Eric Henderson, 53 of Peyton, was arrested and faces several charges pending completion of the investigation.  Trooper Jursevics had been with the Patrol for nearly 5 years beginning in Vail, then to Castle Rock in 2014.  She was survived by her husband and an infant daughter.


Trooper Garrett Swasey  
Univ. of Colo. / Colo. Springs.

Officer Garrett Swasey, 44, was shot and killed on November 27, 2015, when he responded to an active shooter report at a Planned Parenthood branch office in northwest Colorado Springs.  The office was just a few minutes from the school campus and he heard the call and was one of the first officers on scene.  Officer Swasey and two others died in the gunfire.  Nine others were wounded, including 4 other officers.  The shooting suspect, Robert Dear, 57, of Hartsel was arrested and is facing multiple charges.  Garrett Swasey had been a police officer for 6 years, all with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.  Prior to that, he was a junior national couple’s ice dancing champion, having won in Orlando, FL in 1992. He competed in other events after that and performed in ice shows in Maine.  He was survived by his wife and two children ages 10 and 6.


Trooper Cody Donahue  
Colorado State Patrol

On November 25, 2016, Trooper Cody Donahue was assisting with the investigation of a previous motor vehicle crash along northbound I-25 near Castle Rock in Douglas County, Colorado. While he stood on the right shoulder of the interstate, a commercial motor vehicle struck Trooper Donahue, killing him instantly.


Trooper Corporal Daniel H . Groves 
Colorado State Patrol 


Corporal Daniel H. Groves, 52, was struck and killed by a vehicle on I-76, near mile marker 47 west of Roggen, during a blizzard on March 13, 2019
. He was assisting a driver who had slid off the road when another vehicle traveling too fast for conditions also slid off the road and struck him at 11:20 am. Corporal Groves was transported to Platte Valley Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries a short time later. Corporal Groves had served with the Colorado State Patrol for 12 years.


Master Trooper William J. Moden
Colorado State Patrol

Colorado State Patrol Master Trooper William J. Moden, 37, was struck and killed by a vehicle while assisting at the scene of an earlier crash on I-70 near mile marker 324, west of Deer Trail, Colorado on June 14, 2019. He was investigating an earlier crash when a pickup truck struck him at approximately 9:40 pm. Another trooper on the scene immediately began providing medical care. Trooper Moden was flown to the University of Colorado Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Trooper Moden had served with the Colorado State Patrol for 12 years and was assigned to the Vehicular Crimes Unit.  Trooper Moden was posthumously promoted to the rank of Master Trooper.


Deputy Jeffrey C. Hopkins
El Paso County Sheriff's Office

El Paso County Deputy Jeffrey C. Hopkins, 41, died from Covid-19 on April 1, 2020. Nine other deputies also tested positive for Covid-19 and it was determined that Deputy Hopkins contracted it at the jail.


Kurt M. Holland
Commerce City Police Department 

Commerce City Detective Curt M. Holland, 37, was killed in a head-on crash October 16, 2020. Detective Holland was eastbound on Hwy 2, east of Turnberry Parkway when he was hit by a westbound 1-ton pickup who lost control, crossed into the eastbound lanes striking the patrol car and another eastbound vehicle. Detective Holland and the other eastbound driver were both killed. The westbound driver was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide and driving under the influence.

Memorial Book Online Committee

We welcome any additions, updates or corrections to the Memorial Book Online. If you have any reliable information to contribute, please contact: Lieutenant Colonel Barry Bratt, 700 Kipling Street, Lakewood, Colorado, 80215, (303) 239-4495

Additional Resources:
CSP In Memoriam
Flying Wheels Foundation
Colorado State Patrol Family Foundation
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial
Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc.
Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.)

FBI Hall Of Honor