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Officer J. D. Tippit | Dallas Police Department, Texas Dallas Police Department, Texas


J. D. Tippit

Dallas Police Department, Texas

End of Watch: Friday, November 22, 1963

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 39

Tour: 11 years, 4 months

Badge # 848

Military veteran

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; .38 caliber

Offender: Shot and killed

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Officer J.D. Tippit was shot and killed while questioning the assassin of President John F. Kennedy at Tenth and Patton Streets.

At approximately 1:14 pm, 45 minutes after President Kennedy was shot, Officer Tippit stopped the suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald, who was on foot and fit the general description of the assassin that was being broadcast by the Dallas police radio.

After being summoned by Officer Tippit, Oswald came over to the passenger side of the patrol car where they spoke through an open window. After a brief conversation, Officer Tippit got out of his car and as he was walking toward the front of his patrol car, Oswald suddenly shot him three times at point blank range with a .38 caliber revolver. After Officer Tippit fell, he was shot in the head by Oswald, which proved to be the fatal shot.

A citizen who witnessed the shooting used the police radio in Officer Tippit's patrol car to alert other officers of the shooting.

Oswald was apprehended hiding in a movie theater after he was seen by an alert citizen who witnessed the shooting of Officer Tippit.

Oswald was shot and killed two days later by a citizen while in police custody.

In January 1964, Officer Tippit was posthumously awarded the Medal of Valor from the National Police Hall of Fame and also received the Police Medal of Honor, the Police Cross, and the Citizen's Traffic Commission Award of Heroism.

Officer Tippit served with the Dallas Police Department for 11 years. He was a WWII veteran of the US Army and recipient of the Bronze Star. He is survived by his wife, daughter, two sons, parents, four brothers, two sisters, and his grandmother. He is buried in Laurel Land Memorial Park, in Dallas, Texas.

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Dear J.D.:

I write yet another reflection to you at this time of year. 53 years and 1 day ago, you gave your life to hunt for murderer of President Kennedy. As I have told you time and again over the years, by dying that day, you gave birth to another future police officer, one who only knew how to do the job like you..no nonsense, tenacious and dedicated to the people. That 12 year old kid back on 22 November 1963, was sadden at the death of our beloved President, but totally crushed by your death as well. That young boy, until that day, never believed that police officers can be murdered too. So he swore then and there, to become a law enforcement officer someday. And he did.

I hope that your family has peace, though I am certain that this time of year still must be difficult for them. I hope that your children always remember that their dad is an American hero. Thank you, all of you, for your sacrifice for the rest of us as well. I pray Almighty God has kept you close to His heart. My Dad’s cherished words to me upon graduation of the police academy many years ago, I give proudly to you: “Above all else, honor”. Amen

Oh, that 12 year old boy? That’s me.

Sgt. Ron Tomassi, Retired
Lake Mary Police, Fl.
November 23, 2016


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