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Park Ranger Kenneth Carmel Patrick | United States Department of the Interior - National Park Service, U.S. Government United States Department of the Interior - National Park Service, U.S. Government

Park Ranger

Kenneth Carmel Patrick

United States Department of the Interior - National Park Service, U.S. Government

End of Watch: Sunday, August 5, 1973

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 40

Tour: 10 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Location: California

Weapon: Handgun; 9 mm

Offender: Convicted

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Park Ranger Kenneth Patrick was shot and killed while making a traffic stop at Point Reyes National Seashore, California. The vehicle that he stopped contained several members of a militant group, known as the Black Panthers. One of the men opened fire on Ranger Patrick with a 9 mm handgun as he approached the car, wounding him. Ranger Patrick was wearing a winter coat and was unable to draw his weapon.

The suspects began to drive away but returned and the shooter shot the wounded Ranger Patrick in the head, killing him. The suspect then stole Ranger Patrick's service revolver and the group fled.

The suspects were apprehended and convicted of Ranger Patrick's murder. The accomplices were paroled in 2002. The shooter was scheduled to be released on mandatory parole in February 2005, but that has been delayed and is under review.

Ranger Patrick had previously served with the Arizona Department of Public Safety before joining the National Park Service. He was survived by his wife and four children.

The Black Panthers is a racist, radical group that professed the murders of law enforcement officers. Members and former members of the group were responsible for the murders of at least 15 law enforcement officers and the wounding of dozens more across the nation.

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View all 18 Reflections

Most Recent Reflection

My thoughts and prayers are with Tomie Patrick-Lee and her family on the anniversary today of the murder of NPS LE Ranger Ken Patrick. I worked for her as a National Park Service Law Enforcement Ranger when she was the Chief Ranger of LE Operations at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona) during the summer of 1998 at Halls Crossing and three years later when she was the Superintendent of Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve in Alaska. She is and will always be a symbol of strong NPS leadership during the early years of my NPS LE career. I cannot imagine losing Ken on this morning 42 years ago at Point Reyes National Seashore while she was at home taking care of their 20 months old, 5 yr old, and 12 yr old children. As I now have a wife, 5 yr old daughter and 2 yr old son at home; I always reflect and remember those NPS LE rangers who paid the ultimate sacrifice for being an NPS LE Ranger. May they watch over all of us as we continue to serve the public, make traffic stops to keep the roads safe in our NPS units, and maintain a presence for the safety of all visitors as NPS LE Rangers on patrol throughout all of the National Park units. Very Respectfully, Kevin Kavanagh

USNPS Law Enforcement Ranger
NPS, Minute Man National Historical Park, Mass.
August 5, 2015

 

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