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ODMP Remembers...

Patrolman Peter John Atlantic City Police Department, New Jersey


Peter John "Sonny" Burke

Atlantic City Police Department, New Jersey

End of Watch: Thursday, October 1, 1970

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 26

Tour: 1 year, 3 months

Badge # Not available

Military veteran

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Shotgun

Offender: Sentenced to 15 to 20 years

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Patrolman Peter Burke was shot and killed after being flagged down by a business owner regarding two suspicious males at 2345 hours.

As he approached the men one of them opened fire with a sawed-off shotgun, fatally wounding him. One suspect was immediately arrested and ultimately acquitted. The second suspect fled to Cuba but returned to the U.S. in 1990 and was arrested. He was sentenced to 15 to 20 years for the murder and four years for unlawful flight. His parole was denied on December 30, 2005.

Patrolman Burke had served with the Atlantic City Police Department for 15 months and had previously served with the United States Navy in Vietnam. He is survived by his wife, three brothers, and five sisters.

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Most Recent Reflection

Palma I was 11 years old when this happened to Uncle Sonny and our family. 46 years later and it still seems like yesterday to all of us.
I am so sickened by all this recent bashing of police officers. The media is perpetuating this and I believe it is not going to stop until they stop.
I am proud of Uncle Sonny and am grateful to and pray for all officers that place their lives in danger every day.

Cheryl Nelson
September 30, 2016


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