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Police Officer Richard Philpott | Oakland Police Department, California Oakland Police Department, California

Police Officer

Richard Philpott

Oakland Police Department, California

End of Watch: Wednesday, January 7, 1931

Bio & Incident Details

Age: Not available

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 1/6/1931

Weapon: Shotgun

Offender: Died in prison

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Officer Philpott died from a shotgun blast he received the day before while he was investigating a domestic disturbance.

Officer Philpott and his partner, Officer Fife, received instructions to patch up a family disturbance. They were met by a large crowd of neighbors and the family of the man of the household. The wife told the officers her husband had been acting strangely and had beaten her. Her son said his father was in the barn next to the house and he had a shotgun, but that it wasn't loaded.

The officers proceeded to the barn and as they stepped through the door, the information regarding the unloaded shotgun proved erroneous. Officer Philpott was struck in the face by the shotgun blast and fell to the ground, unconscious. Fife fired six rounds at the suspect, incapacitating him. Philpott was rushed to Merritt Hospital, blinded and with almost 50 birdshot penetration wounds to his head. He died of his wounds the next day.

The 58-year-old suspect was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in San Quentin Prison. He died in San Quentin Prison on July 23, 1947.

Officer Philpott was survived by his wife, stepdaughter, and stepson.

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Every year since 2009 I have made the blue ribbons with the 51 names of the Oakland Police Officers who have died in the line of duty. It is my honor to do this for the fallen officers. The ribbons hang on a tree outside the Warehouse Bar and Grill in Oakland, California for all to see the sacrifice they have made to keep us safe. God bless you all and rest in peace.

A grateful citizen
February 23, 2012


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