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  • Patrolman Daniel C. Martinez

    Age: 33 Tour of Duty: 12 years

    End of Watch: Friday March 23rd, 2007 Cause of Death: Gunfire

    Patrolman Daniel Martinez was shot and killed while helping a mother retrieve her child from a residence.

    Officer Martinez had responded to a call to help a mother get her child from a residence where she had a run in with her ex-boyfriend earlier in the day. The ex-boyfriend had been arrested and she had returned to pick up her child. She met the officer in the parking lot and they went to the front door and the brother of the man arrested earlier answered and told them to wait a minute, then shut the door. He returned with a 9 mm handgun and shot the police officer in the head, then shot the mother in the back, shoulder, and elbow as she fled. Officer Martinez was taken to Sparks Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

    The shooter fled from the home in a car and killed himself before Oklahoma Highway Patrol officers found him near Spiro, Oklahoma.

    Officer Martinez had served for several years with the Poteau Police Department, Panama Police Department, Shady Point Police Department, and Wister Police Department, all of which are in Oklahoma. He joined the Fort Smith Police Department on July 3, 2006. He is survived by his wife and five children.

    Patrolman Billy Wayne Simms

    Age: 39 Tour of Duty: 2 years, 6 months

    End of Watch: Friday April 18th, 1986 Cause of Death: Struck by vehicle

    Patrolman Simms was struck and killed by a vehicle while crossing Rogers Avenue near Barling at 2055 hours. He was on patrol when he stopped to assist a disabled motorist. He had activated his emergency lights and walked across the street to the car. When he finished with the motorist he was walking back to his patrol car when a car struck him. He was knocked into the path of another car and was killed instantly.

    Patrolman Simms had been with the agency for over two years and was survived by his wife, daughter, son, mother and sister.

    Detective William Ray Tate

    Age: 33 Tour of Duty: 4 years

    End of Watch: Monday January 5th, 1981 Cause of Death: Gunfire

    Detective Tate was shot and killed after being abducted along with three crime victims. A woman and a co-worker had gone to the police station to report that the woman's husband was missing. After taking the report Detective Tate followed the two back to her residence. He advised dispatch of his arrival and then made no further contact.

    The bodies of Detective Tate, the woman, and the co-worker were found the following day. Detective Tate had been restrained in his own handcuffs and had been shot in the back of the head. The body of the missing husband was found in a nearby recreation area. A suspect was apprehended and charged with four counts of kidnapping and murder. The suspect was convicted of all counts and sentenced to death but died in prison.

    Detective Tate had been with the agency for four years and was survived by his wife, son, daughter and sister.

    Patrolman Randy Monroe Basnett

    Age: 30 Tour of Duty: 4 years, 6 months

    End of Watch: Friday September 24th, 1976 Cause of Death: Gunfire

    Patrolman Randy Basnett was shot and killed when he confronted a double-murder suspect.

    Patrolman Basnett was in the parking lot of a service station when the suspect pulled into the parking lot as well. He had recognized the suspect's car from a bulletin provided to the police department earlier in the day. When Patrolman Basnett asked for identification the suspect reached inside of his vehicle, produced a .25 caliber handgun, and shot Patrolman Basnett in the chest. Patrolman Basnett returned fire at the fleeing suspect. Two shots struck the suspect and four shots struck the suspect's car.

    The shooting occurred across the street from an Arkansas State Police barracks. Several troopers who heard the shots pursued the suspect and assisted other Fort Smith officers in arresting the suspect a short distance away. The suspect was sentenced to death and executed on June 18, 1990.

    Patrolman Basnett had served with the Fort Smith Police Department for 4-1/2 years. He was survived by his wife, daughter, stepdaughter, stepson, parents, sister and brother. He daughter was born shortly after his death.

    Patrolman Thomas I. Hairston

    Age: 62 Tour of Duty: 7 years

    End of Watch: Sunday September 27th, 1936 Cause of Death: Heart attack

    Patrolman Thomas Hairston suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after being involved in a shooting of a suspect.

    He and his partner were on patrol when they heard shots fired nearby. As they went to investigate, they observed a man walking in the roadway with a rifle. The man continued walking towards them even after being ordered to stop. Patrolman Hairston opened fire on the suspect, striking him in the chest.

    After shooting the man, Patrolman Hairston ran two blocks to a nearby factory and called for an ambulance. He then ran back to the scene where he collapsed. He died while being transported to the hospital.

    Patrolman Hairston had served with the Fort Smith Police Department for 7 years. He was survived by his wife.

    Patrolman Ralph Howard

    Age: 53 Tour of Duty: 20 years

    End of Watch: Friday September 4th, 1931 Cause of Death: Gunfire

    Patrolman Howard and Captain William Bourland were shot and killed during a shootout of several armed robbery suspects. The officers had located three suspects who had robbed a store in Spiro, Oklahoma, earlier in the evening. They began to chase the car down Spiro Highway and chased them onto Towson Avenue where they ran it off the road near South Y Street. A shootout ensued and Captain Bourland, Patrolman Howard, and all three suspects were shot. One of the suspects died at the scene.

    Captain Bourland was shot in the head, and twice in the chest. He was pronounced dead at St. Edward Hospital. Patrolman Howard was struck in neck, chest, and both hands. He succumbed to his wounds two days later. The two surviving suspects were taken into custody. Both were sentenced to life in prison but the sentence of one of the suspects was commuted and he was paroled.

    Patrolman Howard had been with the agency for 20 years and was survived by his wife, son and daughter.

    Captain William A. Bourland

    Age: 51 Tour of Duty: Unknown

    End of Watch: Wednesday September 2nd, 1931 Cause of Death: Gunfire

    Captain Bourland and Patrolman Ralph Howard were shot and killed during a shootout of several armed robbery suspects. They began to chase the car down Spiro Highway and chased them onto Towson Avenue where they ran it off the road near South Y Street. A shootout ensued and Captain Bourland, Patrolman Howard, and all three suspects were shot. One of the suspects died at the scene.

    Captain Bourland was shot in the head, and twice in the chest. He was pronounced dead at St. Edward Hospital. Patrolman Howard was struck in neck, chest, and both hands. He succumbed to his wounds two days later. The two surviving suspects were taken into custody. Both were sentenced to life in prison but the sentence of one of the suspects was commuted and he was paroled.

    Captain Bourland was survived by his wife, son and three daughters.

    Detective Sam Booth

    Age: 48 Tour of Duty: 20 years

    End of Watch: Saturday March 21st, 1931 Cause of Death: Gunfire

    Detective Booth was shot and killed while transporting two men to jail. Detective Booth and another detective had stopped a car at Towson Avenue and South E Street. The car contained two men that were known to the detectives. The other detective left the scene to pickup their captain and Detective Booth began to ride to the jail in the suspects' vehicle. Unbeknownst to the detectives, the men had just stolen the vehicle.

    Immediately after turning onto Rogers Avenue a shootout ensued inside of the vehicle and Detective Booth was shot once. Detective Booth exited the passenger side of the car on Rogers Avenue and ran around to the driver's side. The men also exited the passenger side and one of them fired across the hood of the car, striking Detective Booth three more times. Although mortally wounded, Detective Booth attempted to follow the men but collapsed in a nearby car dealership. He was transported to St. Edward Hospital where he died 30 minutes later.

    The suspects, ages 18 and 23, were apprehended and sentenced to life in prison. Both were paroled in 1945.

    Detective Booth had been with the agency for 20 years.

    Detective Patrick Andrew Carr

    Age: 42 Tour of Duty: Unknown

    End of Watch: Monday April 1st, 1912 Cause of Death: Gunfire

    Detective Patrick Carr was shot and killed when he assisted other officers in the capture of an escaped prisoner.

    A Fort Smith police detective had observed a 24 year old male engaged in a loud verbal confrontation with a female on Garrison Avenue. He arrested the male and while he escorted him to jail, the prisoner pulled away from the detective and fled. Detective Carr observed the escape and joined with others in the pursuit of the escapee. During the pursuit and recapture of the prisoner, shots were fired and Detective Carr was struck above the right eye by a bullet.

    The suspect was later captured and subsequently lynched by an angry mob.

    Detective Carr died nine days later in St. Edward Hospital and did not regain consciousness. He was laid to rest in the Oak Cemetery.

    Detective Carr was survived by his wife, two sons, and three daughters.

    Patrolman Ernest Augustus Anthony

    Age: 50 Tour of Duty: 12 years

    End of Watch: Friday May 13th, 1904 Cause of Death: Struck by train

    Patrolman Ernest Anthony was struck and killed by a train while patrolling the local rail yard.

    Several trains were switching tracks at the time which resulted in Patrolman Anthony not hearing the oncoming train that struck him.

    Patrolman Anthony had served with the Fort Smith Police Department for 15 years. He was survived by his wife.

    Chief of Police Michael Baer

    Age: 31 Tour of Duty: Unknown

    End of Watch: Wednesday May 26th, 1869 Cause of Death: Gunfire

    Chief of Police Michael Baer was shot and killed as he and a sheriff's deputy searched for a gang of horse thieves that had been active in the Fort Smith area.

    The two officers were riding along the Little Rock Road (modern-day Highway 22), approximately 10 miles east of Fort Smith, when they encountered a group of three men. Before any words were exchanged the men opened fire on the officers, who returned fire.

    Chief Baer was struck in the chest and fatally wounded. One of the subjects in the other group was wounded. It was later determined that the men who opened fire on them had been victims of the horse thieves earlier in the evening and mistook Chief Baer and the deputy for the thieves.

    Chief Baer had recently been appointed as police chief and had previously served as constable of Fort Smith. He was survived by his expectant wife.




    Page Last Updated: Jan 13, 2017 (19:38:34)
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