Detective Ricky Joe Childers

Detective Ricky Joe Childers

Tampa Police Department, Florida

End of Watch Tuesday, May 19, 1998

Ricky Joe Childers

Detective Ricky Childers and Detective Randy Bell were shot and killed transporting a suspect to the police station for questioning.

The suspect had earlier shot his girlfriend's 3-year-old child in the face with a rifle and took the child to a fire station. As Detective Bell and Detective Childers were transporting the suspect, he was able to free one of his hands from the handcuffs using a hidden key.

He then reached into the front seat and gained control of one of the detectives' weapons. He shot and killed the driver as he sat in the front seat and the passenger as he was climbing over the back seat in an attempt to get the gun from the suspect. The suspect then obtained his rifle from the trunk of the car and car-jacked another vehicle. He led police on a chase in which he shot and killed Florida State Trooper James B. Crooks.

The suspect committed suicide after a standoff at a local gas station.

Detective Childers had served with the agency for 18 years. He is survived by his two children.


  • Age 46
  • Tour 18 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Committed suicide

Most Recent Reflection

View all 42 Reflections

Rick, I worked with you for years in the juvenile division of the courthouse as you placed yourself in harms way every time a violent offender wasn't happy with a judge's decree. All of us working there knew that were it not for you, we would not be safe.
In later years I saw you testify in homicide cases you investigated. Continuing to serve the Tampa Bay community you investigated these cases to make sure the guilty offenders were brought to justice. I am so SORRY that you were taken so young by the gunfire of a deranged offender. A few months after it happened our family was vacationing in the beautiful mountains of Cashiers, North Carolina, and I just happened to run into your brother. He said your Mom was having a difficult time handling it all. He had tears in his eyes himself. You will NEVER be forgotten Rick. THANK YOU for making the world a better place.

Barbara Mueller

July 1, 2017

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