Friday’s Heroes: Remembering The Fallen

The Graveyard Shift extends our condolences to the families of each of these brave officers.

Officer Carlos Ledesma, 34

Chandler Arizona Police Department

July 28, 2010 – Officer Carlos Ledesma, a full-time undercover police officer, was shot and killed during a drug operation.  When attempting to exchange $100,000 in cash for a large quantity of marijuana, the suspects opened fire. Two other undercover Chandler officers were wounded during the gun battle. Two of the six suspects were killed.

Chandler officers receive the news about their fellow officers during a press conference – East Valley Tribune photo.

Officer Ledesma leaves behind a wife and two children.

Inspector Timothy Charles Barnes, 38

North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles License and Theft Bureau

July 28, 2010 – Inspector Barnes had been with the NC Division of Motor Vehicles just nine weeks when he suffered a fatal heart attack during the physical training portion of department’s basic training program. He’d served as a deputy with local sheriff’s office for ten years prior to moving over to NCDMV.

Deputy Sheriff John Willis, 31

Greene County North Carolina Sheriff’s Office

July 28, 2010 – Deputy John Willis was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance. Deputy Willis entered the home and was immediately met by gunfire. The suspect, a man with an extensive and violent criminal history, then turned the gun on himself. He too died at the scene. Deputy Willis was not wearing his vest at the time. He leaves behind his son and daughter.

Deputy Sheriff Samuel A. Smith, 23

Franklin County Kansas Sheriff’s Office

July 23, 2010 – Deputy Samuel Smith was responding to assist another deputy at a domestic dispute when he lost control of his car and struck a tree. He was wearing his seat belt, but died at the scene.

Deputy Smith had only been with the department for nine months.

Chief of Police Daniel K. Duncan, 55

Lake Oswego Oregon Police Department

May 20, 2010 – Chief Daniel Duncan was in a meeting when he heard a call for assistance. He responded, running down several flights of stairs and across the building, to help his officers with apprehending the suspect when he suddenly felt ill. He went home to rest and was found dead the next morning from an apparent heart attack.

Chief Duncan died just six days prior to retiring after serving 34 years as a police officer.

Detective Lieutenant Liusila Brown, 44

American Samoa Department of Public Safety

July 22, 2010 – Lt. Liusila Brown was working court security when he was shot and killed by a criminal suspect. The man, a gang member and member of the defendant’s family, shot Lt. Brown several times and was then heard screaming obscenities at the officer as he lay dying on the ground.

Officers in American Samoa are not permitted to carry firearms.

Audio of the horrific shooting can be heard here.

*Thanks to ODMP

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Friday’s Heroes: Remembering The Fallen

The Graveyard Shift extends our condolences to the families of each of these brave officers.

Officer Michael R. Bailey, 62

Chicago Police Department

July 18, 2010 – Officer Michael Bailey completed his shift, and has he’d done every day for the past three weeks, was at home wiping down his retirement gift to himself—a brand new Buick. Officer Bailey was mere weeks from ending a 20+ year career with his beloved department when three men approached him outside his home and attempted to steal his car at gunpoint. Bailey was in uniform at the time and announced that he was a police officer. A gun battle ensued and Officer Bailey was killed.

An officer salutes the ambulance carrying the body of slain officer Michael Bailey – Chicago Breaking News Center images.

Officer Bailey leaves behind his wife, a son, two daughters, and grandchildren.

Deputy Sheriff David Lambert, 38

Warren County Mississippi Sheriff’s Department

June 24, 2010 – Deputy Sheriff David Lambert was responding to a fellow deputy’s call for help when he lost control of his patrol car. The vehicle overturned causing the deputy to suffer several serious injuries. Deputy Lambert succumbed to those injuries on July 20, 2010. He leaves behind his wife and three children.

Sheriff Garry Welford

George County Mississippi Sheriff’s Office

July 21, 2010 – Sheriff Garry Welford was struck and killed by a vehicle pursued by his deputies.

At approximately 2:45 p.m., George County deputies were in pursuit of a maroon pickup truck driven by Christopher Lee Baxter. Baxter, wanted for failing to appear in court for sentencing on narcotics violations, had refused to stop for police lights and sirens. Sheriff Welford was laying down spike strips on Bexely Road South to end the chase when the suspect’s vehicle struck him. He was airlifted to University of South Alabama Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries.

The driver of the truck fled the scene, but was later found hiding in a trailer. Christopher Baxter and his girlfriend, Brandy Williams, a passenger in the truck, were taken into custody and charged with capital murder.

Mississippi officials announce the death of Sheriff Garry Welford. A sheriff of George County will be appointed until a special election is held.

Cop killer Christopher Baxter, 24

Brandy Williams, 19

gulflive images

Thanks to ODMP

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Friday’s Heroes: Remembering The Fallen

The Graveyard Shift extends our condolences to the families of each of these brave officers.

Officer Thor Soderberg, 43

Chicago Police Department

July 7, 2010 – Officer Thor Soderberg, an instructor at the Chicago Police Education and Training Academy, was attacked as he was returning to his car at the end of his shift. The attacker managed to gain control of Officer Soderberg’s weapon and then shot the officer in the head, neck, and chest. The suspect fled and used the officer’s weapon to commit an armed robbery, but was later wounded in a shootout with police. Officer Soderberg is survived by his wife Jennifer.

Sergeant Orville Smith, 64

Shelton Connecticut Police Department

July 7, 2010 – Sergeant Orville Smith was working a traffic detail on July 3, 2010 when he was struck by a drunk driver. He died on the 7th of July as a result of his injuries. Sergeant Smith, a 40 year veteran police officer also served his country as a marine and is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He is survived by his wife.

*Thanks to ODMP

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Friday’s Heroes: Remembering The Fallen

The Graveyard Shift extends our condolences to the families of each of these brave officers.


Sergeant Doug Weddleton, 52

Massachusetts State Police

June 18, 2010 – Sgt. Doug Weddleton was working a traffic detail at a construction site when a car illegally passed his parked patrol car. He stopped the vehicle and while handling the suspected drunk driver, a second intoxicated driver plowed into the first stopped vehicle, pushing it into Sgt. Weddleton.

He was transported to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Sgt. Weddleton leaves behind his wife and four sons.


Deputy Sheriff Caroline Green, 51

Richmond Virginia Sheriff’s Office

June 19, 2010 – While leaving her assignment of guarding a prisoner at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center on June 11, 2010, Deputy Caroline Green crashed her unmarked police car into the side of one of the center’s buildings. She succumbed to her injuries one week later after undergoing several operations.


Deputy Sheriff Dean Ridings, 52

Spotsylvania County Virginia Sheriff’s Office

June 19, 2010 – Deputy Sheriff Dean Ridings was killed in a boating accident while on marine patrol. A large wake overturned the police boat throwing Deputy Ridings overboard. He was knocked unconscious after hitting his head on the boat during the accident. Deputy Ridings was transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. He leaves behind his wife, two sons, and three grandchildren. Both of Deputy Ridings’ sons also serve as deputies with the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office.

Officer Craig Shaw, 37

Lancaster Texas Police Department

June 20, 2010 – Officer Craig Shaw was shot and killed on Father’s Day while responding to a shots-fired call at an apartment complex. A man had been murdered at the housing unit and when officers approached the shooting suspect he turned and fired, killing Officer Shaw. The suspect, the son of newly appointed Dallas Police Chief David Brown, was killed by officers during the shootout.

Officer Shaw is survived by his wife and two children.


Officer Philip Ortiz, 48

California Highway Patrol

June 22, 2010 – Officer Phillip Ortiz died as a result of injuries he received in a traffic accident on June 9, 2010. Officer Ortiz had stopped a vehicle and was issuing a traffic summons when a car attempted to pass on the shoulder at a high rate of speed. The passing vehicle struck the officer and the stopped vehicle. Officer Ortiz was pinned in the wreckage and had to be extricated by emergency crews.

Officer Ortiz is survived by his wife, parents, and sisters.

LANow images

Deputy Sheriff Melissa Powers, 36

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office

June 22, 2010 – Deputy Sheriff Melissa Powers, a mother of two, died in a single car traffic accident while searching for another deputy who was not responding to his radio. Deputy Powers was driving on a rain-slick highway with lights and siren activated when she lost control of her patrol car and crashed into a tractor trailer. Rescue workers extricated her from the car and transported her to the hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. Deputy Powers leaves behind a son and daughter, her parents, and her husband who is a police detective.

Deputy Sheriff Richard Daniels, 27

Twiggs County Georgia Sheriff’s Office

June 22, 2010 – Deputy Sheriff Richard Daniels was killed at approximately 1:30 a.m. when a large oak tree fell across the roadway, ripping off the top of his patrol car.

Deputy Daniels leaves behind his wife and his infant daughter.

Macon Telegraph images

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Friday’s Heroes: Remembering The Fallen

The Graveyard Shift extends our condolences to the families of each of these brave officers.

Deputy Sheriff Eddie Wotipka, 51

Harris County Texas Sheriff’s Department

June 10, 2010 – Deputy Eddie Wotipka drowned while attempting to rescue his English Bulldog that had fallen into a canal. Deputy Wotipka’s wife tried to save her husband but was unsuccessful. Bystanders had to use ropes attached to a pickup truck to pull her to safety. One witness said that during his struggle to survive the deputy never let go of his dog.

The bodies of Deputy Wotipka and his dog were later recovered by a dive team.

Deputy Wotipka is survived by his wife and two children.

Officer Thomas P. Coleman, 33

California Highway Patrol

June 11, 2010 – Officer Thomas Coleman was pursuing a traffic violator when his motorcycle crashed into a tractor trailer. He died at the scene.

Officer Coleman leaves behind his wife, two-year-old son, and an eleven-month-old daughter.

Detective Michael Perry, 43

White Plains New York Police Department

June 12, 2010 – Detective Michael Perry suffered a fatal heart attack after chasing, subduing, and arresting a larceny suspect.

Detective Perry is survived by his wife and two sons (pictured above looking on as their father’s casket passes by).

Images – RedlandsDailyFacts and LoHud. Thanks to ODMP.

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Friday’s Heroes: Remembering The Fallen

The Graveyard Shift extends our condolences to the families of each of these brave officers.

Trooper Marc Castellano, 29

New Jersey State Police

June 6, 2010 – Trooper Marc Castellano was struck by a vehicle and killed while attempting to locate the occupants of an abandoned vehicle beside Highway 195. The female driver of the abandoned car, Diana Hoffman, had been involved in a police pursuit and was later found hiding in the woods. She told officers that she had been with an armed man who’d fled the scene on foot. After an intensive search by law enforcement it was determined that the woman had lied about the man. She was taken into custody and charged with several offenses.

The driver of the car that struck the trooper was not charged.

Trooper Castellano leaves behind a wife and two children.

Officer Joshua Yazzi, 33

United States Department of the Interior – Bureau of Indian Affairs

June 7, 2010 – Officer Joshua Yazzi was killed while responding to assist an ambulance crew with a violent, intoxicated patient. He lost control of his patrol car in a curve causing it to roll over several times before tumbling down a 200 foot embankment. Officer Yazzi was ejected from the car and died at the scene.  He is survived by his wife Jessica and two children, Jaxsen and MaCee.

Entrance to road where fatal accident occurred

Officer Yazzi’s patrol car

Trooper Wesley Brown, 24

Maryland State Police

June 11, 2010 – Trooper Wesley Brown was shot and killed while working off-duty security at a Forestville Applebee’s restaurant. He’d escorted a disorderly patron from the business early in the evening. Later, that same patron was hiding in the parking lot and shot Trooper Wesley as he was leaving the restaurant. The suspect is still at large.

Trooper Wesley is survived by his fiancee.

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