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Technical Sergeant Robert Bruce Butler | United States Air Force Security Forces, U.S. Government United States Air Force Security Forces, U.S. Government

Technical Sergeant

Robert Bruce Butler

United States Air Force Security Forces, U.S. Government

End of Watch: Saturday, January 10, 1998

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 34

Tour: 13 years

Badge # Not available

Military veteran

Cause: Gunfire

Location: California

Weapon: Handgun

Offender: Committed suicide

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Technical Sergeant Robert Butler was shot and killed after stopping the vehicle of a serviceman who had killed another serviceman moments earlier. The incident occurred on Edwards Air Force Base in Kern County, California. At the time, Sergeant Butler did not know the driver was a suspect in the murder.

He stopped the vehicle for running a stop sign and driving erratically. During the stop, Sergeant Butler called for backup for a possible DUI. The first officer on the scene observed the suspect vehicle speeding away and Sergeant Butler lying on the ground. CPR was started, but the officer was unable to revive him. The suspect was found dead in his quarters at approximately 7:00 am from a self-inflicted gun shot wound.

Sergeant Butler was assigned to the 95th Security Forces Squadron. He is survived by his wife and three children.

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I was stationed at Edwards AFB, CA, assigned to the 412th EMS during this time. I remember hearing the terrible news that day like it was yesterday. I did not know TSgt Butler personally, but losing a fellow brother in arms is never easy for any of us. I was also a member of the Blue Eagles Honor Guard Team during this time and was chosen to be the lead trumpet during the echo TAPS that we played for his memorial, out in front of the hangar on the Edwards flight line several days after his passing. I had played TAPS many times before during military funeral honors all over southern California for our fallen hero's, but never had a ceremony like the one for TSgt Butler, have such a moving effect on me. It was very beautiful and peacefully calming.
Out of the many things I've done during my military career, this event stands out for me and I am so very honored to have been a part of this moment in time.
I also want you to know that his memory echoes around the world just as TAPS did on that day. I am currently deployed at Al Udeid AB, Qatar and his name is engraved on a plaque located in the Security Forces Squadron building, honoring fallen hero's during the line of duty around the world. He is not forgotten.
Happy Veterans Day TSgt Robert B. Butler and thank you sir for your service and ultimate sacrifice.
God Bless!!
Dale J. Hager, TSgt USAF 11 Nov. 2016

Technical Sergeant Dale J. Hager
Blue Eagles Honor Guard Team - Edwards AFB, CA
November 11, 2016

 

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