Officer Don Joseph Burt

Officer Don Joseph Burt

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch Saturday, July 13, 1996

Add to My Heroes

Don Joseph Burt

Officer Burt was shot and killed in Fullerton, California, while making a traffic stop. Officer Burt was impounding the vehicle after discovering that the driver was driving on a suspended license.

As he was searching the trunk he found forged payroll checks and counterfeit traveler's checks. When he went to question the suspect the man produced a 9 mm handgun and shot him six times. As he lay on the ground the suspect stole his weapon and keys and then shot him execution style in the head.

The suspect stole his patrol car and fled the scene. He was eventually located and apprehended in Houston, Texas. The suspect plead guilty to federal murder-for-hire charges after an attempt to have witnesses and the deputy district attorney in the case murdered. As a result of that plea agreement, he also plead guilty to the murder of Officer Burt, and on June 23, 2000, was sentenced to death.

Officer Burt had served with the California Highway Patrol for just over 1 year. Officer Burt's wife gave birth to their son on September 22, 1996, two months after his murder.


  • Age 25
  • Tour 1 year, 3 months
  • Badge 13892

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; 9 mm
  • Offender Sentenced to death

Most Recent Reflection

View all 78 Reflections

Just a citizen driving thru and saw road sign, so I looked up his name. Truly a tragedy. He would have been 51 now?

Harold Epps

November 13, 2022

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.