Patrolman Terry Lee Thompson

Patrolman Terry Lee Thompson

Burton Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Tuesday, July 5, 1983

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Terry Lee Thompson

Patrolman Terry Thompson was shot and killed while responding to a burglary alarm at a local store.

The store's alarm monitoring company heard voices inside the store and notified the manager and police department. The manager let Patrolman Thompson into the store to search it and then waited by the front door. Moments later one of the two 16-year-old subjects who were inside shot Patrolman Thompson.

Other officers surrounded the store but were unable to rescue him for two hours, but he had already passed away from his wounds.

His killer was arrested and sentenced to life in prison. An accomplice was convicted of breaking and entering and later released from prison. The juvenile who was sentenced to life in prison was re-sentenced to between 40 to 60 years in 2021.

Patrolman Thompson was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the Burton Police Department for eight years. He was survived by his wife, parents, sister, and brother.


  • Age 32
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge 13
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life

burglary, juvenile offender

Most Recent Reflection

View all 24 Reflections

Terry it is with great sadness that I report to you that a heartless judge has decided that the man who shot you is REDEEMABLE and has altered his sentence to 40-60 years, possibly paving the way for his release. Your sister had your back at the hearing and gave a heartfelt passionate statement about her hero and brother Terry Lee Thompson. She was strong and solid in her message to the court that the defendant was where he needed to be and he earned his place there and should not be allowed the freedom that he took from you. Your former coworkers stand with her and you would be very pleased to know that your legacy resonates with those who came after you and with those who serve now. You gave your life serving your community and your community salutes you. We vowed then to never forget you and we never will. You, your family, your co workers, friends and community all deserved better then this .... The community was horrified by the details of your shocking murder and now your police community is horrified by this shocking decision. Your murderer is not redeemable nor will he ever be, the details should of been proof of that, but I don't believe the Judge was interested in factual details!

Bruce Whitman

April 29, 2021

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