Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 26 years
Badge # 228
Incident Date: 6/26/1982
Weapon: Handgun; .22 caliber
Suspect: Shot and killed
Deputy Sheriff Denny Lawrence succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained 30 years earlier while investigating a minor traffic accident on US 93 south of Jackpot, Nevada.
Unbeknownst to Deputy Lawrence, the suspect had just been released from the California Department of Corrections. Upon his release, he went to his former cellmate's home where he murdered two people and stole their car. Several campers in the area were helping the man stay warm as they waited for an officer to respond to the accident.
As Deputy Lawrence began to run the man's driver license, the man approached him and suddenly shot him once in the forehead with a .22 caliber handgun. He then fired again, but missed, before taking Deputy Lawrence's service revolver. Two armed citizens then shot and killed the subject as he opened fire on bystanders in an attempt to steal a vehicle to escape.
Deputy Lawrence remained in a coma for several days. He suffered severe brain damage and remained completely disabled in an assisted living home until passing away from medical complications of the wound.
Deputy Lawrence was a U.S. Navy veteran and had served in law enforcement for a total of 26 years before he was shot. He is survived by his three sons and a daughter.