St. Petersburg police officers who have died in the line of duty

These are the St. Petersburg police officers who have been killed in the line of duty:

Chief of Police James J. Mitchell, Dec. 25, 1905, stabbed.

Mitchell, who was St. Petersburg's first police chief, had just arrested a man for disorderly conduct when a second man sneaked up from behind and stabbed a stunned Mitchell through the heart with a butcher knife.

Constable Edward Adolphus George, Sept. 16, 1908, shot.

George was working behind the police information desk in St. Petersburg when a man who had been arrested for vagrancy grabbed another officer's gun. The gun went off, killing George.

Detective Wayne M. Barry, May 23, 1929, shot.

Barry and another officer were chasing a robbery suspect down an alley in St. Petersburg. Suddenly, the fugitive came out firing, killing Barry. The suspect was killed in an exchange of gunfire with Barry's partner.

Officer Eugene W. Minor, Oct. 25, 1929, shot.

Minor had stopped an old truck filled with live chickens for not having a tag. The driver, who had just stolen the chickens, thought Minor was stopping him for theft. He fired both barrels of a shotgun at Minor, killing him.

Officer Frank A. Pike, May 19, 1933, automobile accident.

Pike was directing traffic outside a church when he was struck by a car and killed. The driver, a state senator, had broken his leg and was driving his family to church when his cast slipped off the brake onto the accelerator.

Officer James W. Thornton, Oct. 16, 1937, shot.

Officer William G. Newberry, Oct. 17, 1937, shot.

Thornton and Newberry told a man named Honey Boy Moses, who had been getting drunk at a carnival, to go home. Moses left but returned with a gun, shooting both police officers. Thornton died instantly, and Newberry died the next day.

Officer James J. Goodson, Dec. 25, 1947, shot.

Goodson was on his way into a St. Petersburg liquor store when a woman ran out shouting, "He's got a gun." Goodson tried to help another officer disarm the man, but the suspect's gun went off twice, wounding Goodson in the head and groin.

Officer Eugene A. (Gene) Bessette, Nov. 19, 1961, motorcycle accident.

Bessette was riding his police motorcycle in St. Petersburg when a 65-year-old man ran a stop sign and struck him, killing him.

Officer James A. Krupp, April 15, 1964, automobile accident.

Krupp and his partner were riding in a car, serving warrants in St. Petersburg, when they were struck by a car involved in a high-speed chase. Krupp was killed, and his partner was seriously injured.

Officer Charles Lee Eustes, Sept. 24, 1967, shot.

Eustes was responding to a domestic call in St. Petersburg when a man at the scene grabbed the officer's gun and shot him.

Detective Herbert Ray Sullivan, Aug. 18, 1980, shot.

Sullivan was sitting behind the wheel of an unmarked police truck, trying to set up an undercover cocaine deal in St. Petersburg. While Sullivan's partner and a drug dealer went inside a motel to get the drugs, the dealer's accomplice walked up to the truck and fired. Two .38-caliber hollow-point slugs struck Sullivan's chest. The man escaped with $65,000. Sullivan died two hours later. The two dealers are now serving life sentences. An annual award named after Sullivan was set up to honor the agency's outstanding vice and narcotics investigator.

Source: Times files.

More on the Web:

Heroes of the St. Pete Police (click on an officer's name to see more details)

Officer Down Memorial Page (for a list of all fallen officers in Florida)

St. Petersburg police officers who have died in the line of duty 01/24/11 [Last modified: Monday, January 24, 2011 6:33pm]

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