Police Officer Charles E. McDougald

Police Officer Charles E. McDougald

Buffalo Police Department, New York

End of Watch Wednesday, April 9, 1997

Charles E. McDougald

Officer Charles McDougald and another officer were shot at approximately 0045 hours after approaching a suspicious person who may have been stripping a car.

As the officers approached, the suspect turned and fired at them. Officer McDougald was struck in the chest and died a short time later at the hospital. He was not wearing a vest at the time of the shooting.

The 18 year-old suspect, who had a previous history of violent crimes, was found guilty of murder of a police officer and attempted murder of a police officer and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Officer McDougald had served with the Buffalo Police Department for 8 years and was assigned to Precinct 12. He is survived by his wife and four children.


  • Age 36
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge 2778

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

View all 49 Reflections

Whenever I am asked if I believe in God, Heaven, etc. I always share this story.

April 9th, 1997 in the early morning hours an individual (who’s name I shall not dignify by mentioning) walked up to a marked Buffalo Police car and opened fire shooting two Officers as they sat in their car. This cold senseless act was just pure evil. It is the evil in this world we tend to forget exists.

April 9th, 1997 seems like yesterday. I remember those dark early morning hours just after the shooting. We were going house by house yard by yard. It was so dam bitter cold and the snow was blowing hard in our faces as we searched for Skip’s killer. The weather was so aweful the Sheriff’s Departments helicopter Air One couldn’t respond. Soon word came from Erie County Medical Center that Skip was gone. I remember the Lieutenant calling us all together on the street corner and giving us the heartbreaking news.

What happened next I will never forget for as long as I live. As we all huddled together to say a prayer the weather as if someone threw a switch instantly changed. The snow just stopped. The storm clouds parted and just disappeared. As the night sky changed before our eyes the stars from heaven shined so brightly they just seemed to warm our frozen faces. I will always remember the sudden warmth, calmness and peace that instantly came upon us. It was as if God was letting us know Skip was home and everything was going to be ok.

Rest In Heaven Skip -

Retired Detective Joe Martin
Buffalo Police Department

April 9, 2018

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