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Missouri to honor officers killed in the line of duty

JEFFERSON CITY – The Department of Public Safety today announced details of two ceremonies that will be held on April 30 and May 1 at the Law Enforcement Memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol to honor Missouri law enforcement officers who paid the ultimate price for protecting their communities.

On Friday evening, April 30, a candlelight vigil will be held at the Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial in tribute to all Missouri law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. Governor Mike Parson has ordered the Capitol dome and Law Enforcement Memorial to be lighted blue on Friday night in honor of law enforcement officers.

On Saturday, May 1, the names of eight officers who died in the line of duty during 2020 will be added to the memorial’s Wall of Honor during the annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service at the memorial. The names of seven officers whose historical line-of-duty deaths have recently been confirmed will also be added to the wall.

2020 Line of Duty Deaths

*         Christopher Ryan Walsh – On March 16, 2020, Springfield Police Department Officer Christopher Ryan Walsh was shot and killed when he and another officer confronted an active shooter at a convenience store.

*         Andy Deric Clark – On June 3, 2020, DeKalb County Sheriff Andy Deric Clark was killed in a vehicle crash near Osborn, Mo. while responding to assist a deputy in an emergency situation.

*         Tamarris L. Bohannon – On Aug. 29, 2020, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Tamarris L. Bohannon was mortally wounded when he and another officer were ambushed responding to a shooting calling in the Tower Grove South neighborhood. He succumbed to his wound the next day.

*         Rick A. Groves – On Oct. 16, 2020, Kennett Police Department Assistant Chief Rick A. Groves died after contracting COVID-19 as a result of his law enforcement service.

*         Richard Allen Wright – On Nov. 19, 2020, Missouri Department of Corrections Officer Richard Allen Wright died after contracting COVID-19 as a result of his service as a corrections officer.

*         Dwight Eugene Willis – On Nov. 22, 2020, Greene County Sheriff’s Office Detention Officer Dwight Eugene Willis died after contracting COVID-19 as a result of his service as a detention officer.

*         Herschel Turner Jr. – On Dec. 5, 2020, Moline Acres Police Department Sergeant Herschel Turner Jr. and another officer had stopped a stolen vehicle when Sergeant Turner was fatally struck by the vehicle of another officer arriving at the scene to provide assistance.

*         Kendle Glen Blackburn – On Dec. 28, 2020, Lebanon Police Department Patrolman Kendle Glen Blackburn died after contracting COVID-19 as a result of his law enforcement service.

Recently Confirmed Historical Line-of-Duty Deaths

*         Albert Kopf – On Sept. 3, 1907, City of Pacific Marshal Albert Kopf succumbed to his wounds after being shot three days earlier by a homeless man after Kopf had responded to a call from a woman about a disturbance at the woman’s home.

*         John W. Burns – On April 21, 1922, City of Lathrop Marshal John W. Burns died after being shot in a gun battle with five men, who had attempted to rob him at gunpoint as he performed his duties.

*         William E. Griffin – On June 10, 1923, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Patrolman William E. Griffin was shot and killed responding to an armed robbery at the Telegraph Inn, which was located in St. Louis County.

*         David W. Waymire – On March 13, 1927, City of Crane Marshal David W. Waymire died as a result of wounds suffered after being shot by a man wanted for auto theft whom he had attempted to arrest two miles west of Crane days earlier.

*         S. Dent Owen – On Jan. 3, 1929, Monroe City Marshal S. Dent Owen died from injuries suffered in a head-on collision on Highway 36 while driving a vehicle that had been stolen and that he had recovered during an investigation.

*         James E. Tines – On Sept. 9, 1933, St. Louis – San Francisco Railway Police Special Agent James E. Tines was fatally wounded in an armed robbery while on duty near Springfield.

*         Herman E. Weirich – On Feb. 12, 1946, City of Sullivan Marshal Herman E. Weirich died, four days after the vehicle he was traveling in while on duty was struck by a train.

The families of the fallen and representatives of law enforcement agencies from across Missouri will participate in Saturday’s solemn ceremony. Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe and Attorney General Eric Schmitt will deliver remarks at the ceremony.

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