Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 4 years
Badge # Not available
Incident Date: 11/7/1978
Weapon: Handgun; .357 caliber
Suspect: Sentenced to life
Trooper Pierson was shot and killed while making a traffic stop on Highway 20 north of Panguitch. Unbeknownst to Trooper Pierson, the vehicle had been stolen and the driver, a fugitive from Illinois, had just stolen gas from a service station. While talking to the driver, the man suddenly produced a .357 caliber handgun and shot Trooper Pierson in the chest. Trooper Pierson was able to return fire as the suspect fled but did not strike him. The suspect was apprehended following a high speed pursuit and his attempt to crash through a police road block near Beaver.
The 18 year-old suspect was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life on July 19, 1979.
Trooper Pierson, son of a Utah State Trooper, had been with the agency for four years and was survived by his expectant wife, daughter, and two sons.