Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Honoring Our Local Officers Who Lost Their Lives Serving Our Communities..


Officer Daniel Bier was shot and killed after responding to a domestic disturbance call at 4:30 pm. He was shot in the chest with a .45 caliber handgun as he entered the home. The suspect fled the scene but was apprehended by members of the Maryland State Police.

The suspect was initially convicted of first degree murder, however, was convicted of a lesser charge of a second degree murder during a second trial. He was released after serving only 5 years.

Officer Bier had served with the agency for 7 years. He was survived by his wife, sister, and two brothers.


Night Chief John Daugherty was shot and killed as he and another officer walked a prisoner to jail. 

The two officers had just arrested the man for selling whiskey. A friend of the man witnessed the arrest and obtained a .44 caliber revolver. The friend followed the officers and prisoner for about half a block, and shot Night Chief Daugherty in the back of the head without warning, killing him instantly.

The suspect fled the scene and attempted to escape into Virginia by taking a sailboat. A posse of citizens caught up to him, returned him to Crisfield, and then beat and lynched him.

Night Chief Daugherty was survived by his wife and five children.



Chief James Kirwin succumbed to wounds sustained 6 years earlier when he was struck in the head with a hatchet while attempting to make an arrest. 

Chief Kirwin and other officers had gone to a barn after being notified that a man inside had slashed another man with the hatchet.

When Chief Kirwin arrived at the barn he was struck in the head. The suspect then struck the other officer in the arm. The officer shot the suspect once, but did not immediately stop him. When the suspect lunged at the officer again, he emptied his revolver at the man, killing him.

Chief Kirwin was survived by his wife.

Policeman Harry Daugherty succumbed to wounds sustained three days earlier when he was attacked by a man with a chisel. Policeman Daugherty had gone to a home on Paper Street to investigate reports of a disturbance. While inside he was attacked by the suspect and stabbed in the temple with a chisel.

The suspect was apprehended the following morning after a manhunt involving over 1,000 citizens. He was taken to the Baltimore City Jail by state police officers to prevent him from being lynched by citizens.

Policeman Daugherty was survived by his wife and seven children.

Chief Ernest Leatherbury suffered a fatal heart attack at 1730 hours, approximately one hour after helping other officers subdue a suspect in front of the police station. 

The suspect who had been arrested for assault, refused to go into the station and had to be forced inside by the chief and other officers. Chief Leatherbury collapsed at a meeting approximately one hour after the incident.

Chief Leatherbury had been with his agency for six years and had been with the Maryland State Police for 25 years. He is survived by his wife, three sons, five grandchildren, and nine siblings.



Officer Stephens was shot in the back and killed by a check forgery suspect as they were walking inside the police station. The suspect was captured minutes later when officers found him hiding in high weeds outside the police station.

The suspect was convicted of his murder and sentenced to death. His sentence was commuted to life June 24, 1976.


 Deputy Lewis Dryden was shot and killed as he and a Princess Anne police officer attempted to serve an arrest on a man who had shot his stepfather.

The officers encountered the suspect walking down the street, carrying the shotgun he had used in the previous shooting. As they attempted to take him into custody the man was able to obtain control of Deputy Dryden's pistol and fatally shot him. He then shot and wounded the Princess Anne police officer before fleeing.

The suspect was arrested several days later. He was convicted of Deputy Dryden's murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Deputy Dryden was survived by his wife.



 Sheriff Samuel Graham and Deputy Sheriff Albert Kelly were shot and killed at approximately 2200 hours by an inmate in the county jail. The inmate had obtained a handgun that was smuggled to him in a box of candy. As Deputy Kelly placed inmates into cells the suspect grabbed him and pulled him against the bars. After forcing Deputy Kelly to open the out cell doors the suspect shot and killed him.

Sheriff Graham, who lived in an apartment in the jail, was alerted to the escape and came to investigate. As he did so he was also shot and killed by the suspect. The man fled the jail but was apprehended the next morning in Dover, Delaware. The man was sentenced to two life terms in jail.
Sheriff Graham had been with the agency for 11 years and was survived by his wife.



Deputy Heller was killed in an single car automobile accident while responding to an assistance call.

Deputy Heller was responding to assist another deputy with a mental patient, who was armed with a possible weapon. As Deputy Heller was driving southbound on U.S. Route 113, his 2000 Ford Crown Victoria went out of control and struck a group of trees, ejecting him. Upon impact the cruiser burst into flames. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries a short time later.
Deputy Heller had been in law enforcement for 13 years, and had been with the Worcester County Sheriff's Office for four years.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters, ages 9 and 14


Officer Kuhn was killed in a motorcycle accident while on patrol near Salisbury, Maryland. The sidecar on his motorcycle struck the rear of a wagon without tail lights. He was thrown from the vehicle and sustained fatal injuries.
Officer Kuhn had been with the agency for just under two years.



Quartermaster Sergeant Hunter died of exposure after falling through ice covering Tangier Sound. He was part of an expedition taking 2,000 pounds of food to stranded residents on Tangier Island during a blizzard.

Sergeant Hunter had served with the Maryland State Police for just under 8 years.


Trooper Plummer was killed in an airplane accident after taking off from Assateague Island, Virginia. He had just located an individual authorities were searching for and crashed onto the beach after takeoff.

Trooper Plummer had been with the agency for almost 15 years.




Trooper Milton Purnell was killed in an automobile accident on Route 50 near Cambridge. His patrol car struck a utility pole at a service station.

Trooper Purnell had been with the agency for 17 months.




Trooper Eric Monk was struck and killed by a vehicle during a traffic stop on US Route 13 in Westover. 

He had been with the agency for just over 11 years and was survived by wife, brother, mother, and father.


Trooper Groner was killed in an accident at Routes 392 and 313 near Hurlock while responding to a call. His vehicle was struck by a vehicle, spun around, and struck by a third oncoming vehicle.

Trooper Groner had been with the agency for almost five years.



Trooper Edward Plank was shot and killed during a traffic stop near Princess Ann, Maryland, at 0109 hours. Unknown to Trooper Plank at the time, the driver and passenger of the car were returning to the state after a drug re-supply. Trooper Plank called for back-up when he became suspicious of the driver and after conferring with another officer approached the vehicle a second time at which point he was shot in the face and killed instantly. The two suspects fled but were caught later in the day. One of the suspects was caught after breaking into a house. The owner of the house clubbed the suspect with an empty rifle after being shot at and held him until police arrived. Four hundred grams of cocaine were found in the suspect's car.

The shooter pled guilty to first degree murder on May 14, 1996, and was sentenced to death. In July 1998 the suspect's death sentenced was overturned and he now is facing life in prison.

Trooper Plank had served with the agency for 7 years. He was survived by his wife and 7-month-old daughter


Captain Bromwell drowned after being thrown into the Little Choptank River while on patrol. His leg got caught in a sail and he was thrown overboard in the rough waters. His body was not recovered until the following day.

Captain Bromwell had served with the State Fishery Force for 10 years. He was survived by his wife and four children.

Deputy Game Warden Gordon Barnes was shot and killed while investigating a hunting complaint near Pocomoke City on the Eastern Shore. 

While returning from church Warden Barnes noticed a subject acting suspicious and entering a wooded area near his house with a weapon. The warden was dropped off by his wife to investigate further and was found dead one day later. 

The subject was convicted of Deputy Warden Barne's murder and hanged on December 29th, 1945.

Deputy Barnes had served with the Maryland Natural Resources Police for only 10 months. He was survived by his wife and infant child.




Deputy Sheriff Thompson was shot and killed while attempting to recapture five prisoners who had escaped from the Easton Jail. As Deputy Thompson and another deputy walked up to a home, belonging to the brother of three of the escapees, the prisoners opened fire, killing Deputy Thompson instantly. The other deputy ran for help and all five were soon recaptured.

The prisoner who killed Deputy Thompson was convicted of his murder and sentenced to 12 years in prison June 9, 1902



Patrolman James Henry Hill suffered a fatal heart attack while attempting to apprehend a suspect. He was survived by his wife and children.



Officer Wallace Melson suffered a fatal heart attack during a vehicle pursuit. He had chased the suspect into the neighboring town of Millville and was able to get the car stopped. When he stepped out of his patrol car he collapsed. The suspect then fled the scene and was never identified or apprehended.

There were several firemen who witnessed Officer Melson's heart attack. They started CPR but Officer Melson had died almost immediately.

Officer Melson had served with the Ocean View Police Department for 4 years. He was survived by his daughter and son.



Chief of Police Harvey Gregg suffered a heart attack while directing traffic for a funeral procession. As he collapsed, he struck his head on his patrol car's door, worsening his condition. He passed away two days later as a result of the heart attack and head injury.

Chief Gregg had served with the Georgetown Police Department for 30 years. He was survived by his wife and three children.


Patrolman Chad Spicer was shot and killed as he and his partner attempted to stop a vehicle that had been involved in a shooting a short time earlier.

The suspect's vehicle suddenly stopped and the patrol car came to a stop next to it. A rear-seat passenger in the suspect vehicle fired a single shot from inside the vehicle, striking Patrolman Spicer in the face. A ricochet from the round also struck his partner in the neck.

The shooter and the driver of the vehicle fled on foot while a third passenger remained on the scene and attempted to provide medical aid to the two officers.

The suspect who fired the shot was arrested a short time later inside of a nearby home. The second suspect turned himself in several days later. In February 2011 the suspect was convicted of murdering Patrolman Spicer and he was subsequently sentenced to death. The Delaware Supreme Court upheld the death sentence in August 2012.

Patrolman Spicer had served with the Georgetown Police Department for one year and had previously served in law enforcement for three years. He is survived by his daughter, parents, brother, two sisters, and fiancee.


Trooper Kevin Mallon was killed when he lost control of his patrol car on State Route 16, west of Milton, while en route to a burglary alarm call at a photography studio. His patrol car went off the road and struck a tree.

Trooper Mallon had served with the Delaware State Police for only eight months. He is survived by his mother, stepfather, brother, and sister.







18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this JT...even though it has brought back a lot of (sad) memories to this 77 year old local resident.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this.

Anonymous said...

This is officer appreciation week all your posts should be about line of deaths this eek.

Chief Sewell said...

God Bless the surviving family members to these heros.

Anonymous said...

Greatly Appreciated! God Bless our Police Departments that are on the front lines everyday of their life.

Anonymous said...

Thank you JT, for helping us remember....may their memory always be honored.

the truth hurts. said...

I agree jt u should put up positive stories up about police All weekend.

the truth hurts. said...

Awesome jt great work thugs have ZERO Honor like our POLICE HAVE.

Anonymous said...

This was a excellent article. Thanks for posting this and thanks for doing the research

Anonymous said...

Yes, JT Thank You for putting this together. The stories and faces put to the names are so powerful.
May God Bless all of OUR law enforcement officials, and keep His arms around them, keeping them safe from harm. Please everyone say a prayer everyday for OUR protectors.

It's Time For Us To Protect and Serve
Those Who Protect and Serve Us.

Anonymous said...

I remember Sam Graham. He was about as awesome as they come. I couldn't believe it when I heard he had been murdered.

Anonymous said...

The heathen on the other blog is posting any and all stories and comments that vilify our protectors. The POS has not paid his Wicomico County taxes in at least two years. Once more his valuable property is to be sold at the Court House Door, according to today's Daily Times. Guess he thinks Wicomico owes him free police and fire protection.

humph the little turd wants us to think what a great business man he is.

Anonymous said...

I remember well the Sam Graham incident. My Dad was an active Auxiliary Officer at the time and our entire family was devastated. This is a great post JT! Thank You.

Joe Perdue

Anonymous said...

9.12 How can he be a great business man if he failed high school and never went to college his money was ripped off from his step father he has not worked a real day in his life.

FredG said...

@ Joe Perdue, My most vivid memory was and is seeing Eddie Planks parents on tv. The silent pain and anger in his fathers eyes were so human. I would love to have Eddies dad placed in the same cell with that black murderer for just a couple of minutes. Only one would leave and justice would finally be given by the one person in this world who deserves to merit out to that sob. Prison does not work. The federal and states way of doing business is pure b.s. They protect premeditated killers and pedophiles, all of whom should be DEAD right now, not in criminal summer camp. An eye for an eye, and nothing less. God bless all of these officers and their families who still grieve. Death only for murderers, NOT jail,

Anonymous said...

Deputy Kelly left a family too. His widow just passed away not too long ago I believe. She was in her 90's if it's the lady I'm thinking of.

Anonymous said...

It's EMS week also lets NOT forget the EMT medics killed also,

Anonymous said...

Chief Kerwin lived 6 years with an axe wound to the head? That's horrible.