Eighteen Missouri Law enforcement officers died in line of duty over the last five years in Missouri.
Not only did they give their lives, they collectively gave over one- hundred years of faithful service to the people of Missouri.
In all of the news about the death of Michael Brown, the drama, and the violence that has erupted since the announcement that the Grand Jury deemed Darren Wilson acting in the line of duty, we forget that he had just left an apartment in a rather bad part of town. He had been summoned to assist with a two-year old child who was having trouble breathing.
It was recently said that while there are those who do not believe in prayer or having guns – the next time they are in danger, they had better hope and pray that someone comes and that they have a gun.
Wilson received the call that a theft had taken place at a store in the area, but he stayed with the mother and child until the paramedics arrived and then proceeded to the area of the theft call.
With all the bad things being said about the police in Missouri and particularly focused on Ferguson, little is said or remembered about the eighteen law enforcement officers who died while serving the citizens of Missouri over these past five years.
Neither have there been any people coming forward thanking the policemen in Ferguson, and all across Missouri, for the thousands of times they have responded to calls for help; sometimes at the risk of their own lives.
Below you will find those officers and by following their link you can read more about them. There is a Facebook page for “Heroes Behind the Badge” and several Facebook pages dedicated to praying for our law enforcement officers.
Two officers died in Missouri in 2014:
1. Deputy Sheriff Matthew Chism (1 year, ten months) was shot and killed following a vehicle pursuit and foot chase in El Dorado Springs shortly after midnight.
He had attempted to stop a vehicle for driving with no headlights when the vehicle fled. The passenger bailed out of the vehicle in the area of Hickory Street and High Street, and Deputy Chism chased him on foot. A struggle ensued in which Deputy Chism and the subject were both shot. Deputy Chism was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds. The subject was pronounced dead at the scene
2. Police Officer Eddie Johnson (?) was killed in a single vehicle crash while responding to a structure fire at a home in Royal Oak, approximately six miles west of Alton.
During the response his patrol car left U.S. 160 fives miles west of Alton, struck a driveway entrance, and overturned several times. It is believed that Officer Johnson was not wearing his seat belt at the time.
One officer died in Missouri 2012:
3. Deputy Sheriff Chris Parsons (2 months) was shot and killed from ambush after responding to a 911 call on Nugget Road, in Mineral Point, at approximately 2:10 am.
An ambulance had also responded to the location as a result of the 911 call regarding an unconscious woman. As the woman was loaded into the ambulance, her son exited the mobile home fired a single shot with a shotgun, killing Deputy Parsons.
Six officers died in Missouri 2011:
4. Chief of Police Jerry Hicks (25 years) succumbed to injuries sustained six days earlier when his patrol car collided with a tree at the intersection of Route 8 and Railroad Road, in Washington County, at about 6:30 am.
He was driving to the Potosi Correctional Center to pick up an inmate work crew when the vehicle slid on a patch of ice on a highway bridge, causing it to leave the roadway. The vehicle collided with a tree on the passenger side.
Chief Hicks was flown to a hospital in Creve Couer, where he remained unconscious until succumbing to severe head injuries
5. Patrolman Evan Burns (17 years) was struck and killed by a stolen vehicle while attempting to deploy spike strips during a pursuit shortly after 12:30 am.
Deputies from the Pemiscot County Sheriff’s Office had started pursuing a stolen SUV on I-55 that was being driven by a man wanted for an assault. The vehicle exited at Highway 84 and started driving towards Caruthersville.
Patrolman Burns and another officer began to set up spike strips on the roadway. When the stolen vehicle approached, the driver struck the first police car, injuring the officer, and then rammed the SUV broadside into Patrolman Burns’ vehicle, killing him
6. Trooper Fred Guthrie (17 years, 7 months) and his canine, Reed, drowned after being swept into floodwaters in the area of Routes 118 and 111 in Holt County. Trooper Guthrie was on river flood patrol duty when another patrol unit discovered his patrol truck idling on the road at about 3:00 pm, with his patrol boat still on its trailer.
A massive search was initiated, but neither Trooper Guthrie nor K9 Reed could be located. The search was officially changed to a recovery effort later that evening. K9 Reed’s body was recovered the following evening. Trooper Guthrie’s body was recovered on January 12, 2012, near the area where K9 Reed’s body was recovered.
7. Master Patrolman Jeff Taylor (6 years) succumbed to injuries sustained on May 23, 2011, while assisting with tornado disaster response efforts in Joplin, Missouri.
Patrolman Taylor had just returned to a command post on a department ATV to drop off another first responder when a bolt of lightning struck next to where he was standing. Other public safety officers on the scene immediately began CPR and stabilized him for transport to the hospital.
He was transferred to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, where he remained until succumbing to his injuries on June 3, 2011.
8. Police Officer Daryl Hall (5 years) was shot and killed when he confronted two gunmen outside a nightclub on South Fourth Street at approximately 2:45 am.
Officer Hall was at the nightclub when he heard gunshots outside. When he went outside to investigate, he encountered at least one gunman. Shots were exchanged between the officer and the gunman in which the officer was struck three times. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds a short time later.
9. District Administrator Debra Collins (25 years) was killed in an automobile accident on US 67 near Fredericktown, Missouri while en route to Poplar Bluff for a meeting. Her vehicle ran off the road and overturned in a ditch causing her to suffer fatal injuries.
District Administrator Collins had served with the Missouri Department of Corrections, Board of Probation and Parole for 25 years. She is survived by her husband and two sons.
Six Officers died in Missouri in 2010:
10. Corporal William Mudd (?) suffered a fatal heart attack a short time after assisting at the scene of a medical distress call.
He had responded to a home shortly after midnight to assist paramedics remove an injured person from a home. Due to the icy conditions, Corporal Mudd carried a 50-pound bag of salt to spread over the icy driveway. He then assisted the paramedics carry the victim to the ambulance. After his shift ended he returned home. He passed away while at home at approximately 4:00 pm.
11. Sergeant Joe Schuengel (17 years) was killed in a helicopter crash while returning to Spirit of St. Louis Airport in one of the department’s traffic enforcement helicopters.
He had dropped off several other troopers and was returning to the airport when, it is believed that the Bell 206B helicopter ran out of fuel. Sergeant Schuengel was able to maneuver the aircraft to avoid nearby houses before crashing into a residential street on Horseshoe Ridge Road in St. Louis County.
12. Officer Dan De Kraai (6 years) was accidentally shot and killed during a break while participating in weapons training.
Officer De Kraai and other officers were participating in training scenarios using Simunitions. During a break, Officer De Kraai and another officer replaced the Simunitions weapons with their service weapons before going to a nearby convenience store.
When they returned to the training area, Officer De Kraai asked the other officer to shoot him with a Simunition round so he could experience how it felt. Forgetting that he had transitioned back to his service weapon, the other officer fired a single live round, fatally striking Officer De Kraai in the back.
13. Chief Paul Fricke (?) was killed in an automobile accident on Highway 47, near Highway U, at approximately 10:30 am.
It is believed that Chief Fricke’s patrol car went off the right side of the roadway, and that he over-corrected, causing his patrol car to cross the highway and strike a utility pole on the left side of the road.
14. Officer David Haynes (1 year) was killed in an automobile accident while involved in a vehicle pursuit of a burglary suspect.
The pursuit was traveling down Kingshighway when another car pulled out of Oleatha Street and collided with Officer Haynes’ patrol car. The officer was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.The driver, who was fleeing the pursuit, was subsequently captured and confessed.
15. Deputy Don McCutcheon (1 year) suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after shoveling snow from the front steps of the sheriff’s office.
He had returned to the office after answering several calls for service and, as part of his duties, was clearing the front steps to make it accessible to the public. After about 20 minutes of shoveling, he began to feel ill and drove himself to a nearby rescue squad.
As the EMS personnel evaluated his condition, he collapsed. Paramedics immediately performed life-saving measures and transported him to the nearest hospital, where was pronounced dead.
Three officers died in 2009:
16. Corporal Dennis Engelhard (10 years) was fatally struck by a vehicle while investigating a minor accident on I-44, in Eureka, on Christmas day.
While waiting for a tow truck to arrive, Corporal Engelhard was struck by the driver of a vehicle who lost control on an icy patch due to winter weather conditions. Corporal Engelhard was transported to the St. Clair Health Center where he succumbed to his injuries.
17. Officer Julius Moore (1 year, ten months) succumbed to injuries sustained in an automobile accident nine days earlier.
He was responding to backup other officers attempting to catch a burglary suspect when a tractor-trailer collided with his patrol car at the intersection of South Broadway and Arsenal Street. Officer Moore was transported to St. Louis University Hospital, where he remained until succumbing to his injuries
18. Officer Glennon Fernau (2 years) succumbed to complications of an injury sustained six years earlier.
On March 23rd, 2003, Officer Fernau was involved in a foot pursuit when he fell down a set of concrete stairs. He suffered multiple injuries as a result of the fall, including partial paralysis. The injury forced him to medically retire the following year.
As a result of the injuries, Officer Fernau underwent spinal surgery on May 28th, 2009. He died from complications of the surgery the following day.
We need to be more mindful of those who risk their lives daily for the benefit and welfare of the citizens. We sleep better at night knowing that help is as close as a 911 call.
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