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ODMP Remembers...

Wildlife Officer Margaret E. Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Florida

Wildlife Officer

Margaret E. "Peggy" Park

Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Florida

End of Watch: Thursday, December 13, 1984

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 26

Tour: 2 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Officer's handgun

Offender: Executed in 2010

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Wildlife Officer Margaret Park was shot and killed with her own service weapon when seizing an illegal weapon from a suspect on Keystone Road in Pinellas County. Officer Park had just finished citing a poacher when she heard gunshots coming from an undeveloped subdivision. Officer Park located a pair of men and located a handgun in their van. One of the suspects asked her not to arrest him because he was on probation for grand theft and breaking and entering.

As Officer Park reached into her truck to radio dispatch the suspect grabbed her flashlight and started hitting her on the head. Officer Park was able to call for help on the radio and fired a single shot from her weapon, grazing the second suspect, who then held her down. The first suspect then gained control of her service weapon and shot her in the back of the head as the second suspect held her down. The two fled the scene but were arrested a short time later.

When caught, the first suspect was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death. His co-defendant, a juvenile, was convicted of third degree murder and sentenced to seven years in prison but served only two years and ten months before being released. The shooter was executed on February 16, 2010.

Officer Park had served with the agency for 2 years. She was survived by her parents.

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When I walk the trail named after you in Chestnut Park I will think of you and say a prayer.

Faine Beckerman
I walk on the trail named after her.
May 2, 2016

 

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