Detective Herbert Ray Sullivan

Detective Herbert Ray Sullivan

St. Petersburg Police Department, Florida

End of Watch Monday, August 18, 1980

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Herbert Ray Sullivan

Detective Sullivan was shot and killed while conducting an undercover drug buy with his partner. Detective Sullivan was the money man in the operation while his partner attempted to purchase the drugs. As Detective Sullivan sat in a pickup truck one of the suspects ambushed him, stole the money, and fled. The 23-year-old shooter was apprehended in Tampa a short time later and sentenced to life. His accomplice was apprehended in Spain several years later and extradited back to Florida where he was also sentenced to life.

The shooter died in a South Florida prison on January 4, 2015.

Detective Sullivan had been with the agency for six years and was survived by his wife, parents, two brothers, sister and nephew.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Died in prison

Most Recent Reflection

View all 17 Reflections

Herb was my best friend at the time. We lived in the same apartment complex, were both newly married and shared a pair of Bucs season tickets for several years.
We both loved our wives, sports and having a good time just enjoying life. His wife June and my wife Carol and I are still good friends today. Herb missed attending the football game the day before he was killed because of "some important business he had to attend to", that being the drug sting that went terribly wrong. I will never forget the shock and pain of his death or the treasured memories we shared as friends. I was honored to deliver the eulogy at his funeral and to meet his family and many of the thousands of people who mourned his death. It is 36 years today that my life and that of many others was changed forever. God's speed Herb, I hope to see you again one day.

Keith A. Olsen
Friend forever

August 18, 2016

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