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Police Officer Russell Travis Atlanta Police Department, Georgia

Police Officer

Russell Travis "Rusty" Stalnaker

Atlanta Police Department, Georgia

End of Watch: Wednesday, March 31, 1999

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 24

Tour: 4 years

Badge # 4853

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun

Offender: Sentenced to life

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Police Officer Rusty Stalnaker was shot and killed while struggling with a suspect.

Officers had stopped the suspect after observing him pushing a truck down a street. While talking with him, a struggle ensued and officers wrestled him to the ground and attempted to handcuff him. During the struggle, the suspect pulled out a handgun and shot Officer Stalnaker.

The suspect was shot and wounded by other officers, but was able to flee in a nearby patrol car and crashed approximately a block away. He attempted to steal another vehicle from a woman in front of a church, but the woman thwarted his efforts by screaming. The suspect then ran into the church and was subdued by the pastor who was giving an evening service. On May 2, 2001, the suspect pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life without parole.

Officer Stalnaker had served with the Atlanta Police Department for three years and was assigned to Zone 5. He is survived by his wife.

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Most Recent Reflection

So, today I was cleaning out a drawer and came across the poem I wrote after you passed away. Then, I scrolled over your page on my favorites and wanted to spend a few minutes just hearing how others love and miss you too. So, I figured I'd share the poem I wrote so very long ago
The Fight
by Allison Roberts (Hammond)
A life that was given,
Fighting the fight,
Fighting for everything,
Everything that was right.

A life that was taken that one dark night
Because he continued, continued to fight
For the things that he knew,
The things that were right.

A fight that was won,
In the end,
Because he was loved
By his family and friends.

He was loved not only by those that he knew
But also by those that were watching the news.
When the flash came in that an officer had been shot,
The whole city and state went into shock.

When an officer came to tell the other half of his heart
His true love said, "There goes my heart."
The world she knew had been torn apart.
With a heart torn in pieces she sought peace for her heart.

His parents and brothers were torn apart too,
For this officer was not just someone they knew
He was someone his parents could always count on,
He was strength his brothers could count on too.

They all continue to fight the fight
That fight for which their loved one had given his life,
To protect the innocent and give them their rights,
To allow them to live in the day and sleep at night.

This man had a reason, a reason to fight
He knew his Heavenly Father, the one True Light,
The Light of Jesus and His Father's Might,
Gave him the courage, the courage to fight.

Rusty Stalnaker- My dad still talks about you every time we deep sea fish. I still think about you every March and whenever we do a Vacation Bible School-because you were one of the greatest leaders there was!
Rusty's family- you are all near and dear to my heart.

Friend
November 2, 2016

 

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