Patrolman Peter John "Sonny" Burke

Patrolman Peter John "Sonny" Burke

Atlantic City Police Department, New Jersey

End of Watch Thursday, October 1, 1970

Peter John "Sonny" Burke

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.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 1 year, 3 months
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 15 to 20 years

Most Recent Reflection

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Sonny & I become really the best of friends when I met him while living in Duck Town. We were 2 of the very few Irish kids in in the Italian neighborhood. We were poor but really did not know it. We had a rich life & had Sonny had a great sense of humor. Sonny was a very funny guy. We & our families were supposed to take a PBA trip t Italy & Sonny called me in the last week of Oct to tell me he had received his Passport so the plan was coming together. I received a phone from Don Shur ( AC Police) & little after Mid-night on Oct 1st to tell me Sonny was shot & killed in the line of duty. With all these years gone by we still miss Sonny so much. Being a Christian I know when we all get to Haven Sonny will be there with his great sense of humor & his his great smile. God Bless.


December 12, 2017

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