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Patrolman Thomas Ray Carpenter | Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Colorado State Patrol, Colorado


Thomas Ray Carpenter

Colorado State Patrol, Colorado

End of Watch: Thursday, December 27, 1973

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 31

Tour: 5 years

Badge # 208

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Officer's handgun

Offender: Case never solved

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Patrolman Thomas Carpenter was shot and killed with his own weapon after being abducted while on patrol.

He had stopped a vehicle at Broadway and U.S. 36 in Denver and became engaged in a struggle with the driver. The suspect gained control of Patrolman Carpenter's handgun and forced him to drive to another location. At approximately 10:00 am, Patrolman Carpenter radioed in his position as being on I-70 and Havana which was out of his assigned area. He was found a short time later in his patrol car in Montbello with four gunshot wounds in his back. The suspect had shot him from the back seat of the patrol car as he sat in the driver's seat.

The two prime suspects were shot and killed in an unrelated event several years later. No suspects have ever been apprehended in connection with Patrolman Carpenter's death.

Patrolman Carpenter had been employed with the Colorado State Patrol for over five years and is survived by his wife, daughter, and two sons.

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Most Recent Reflection

He was Mr. Carpenter to me as a young teenager working at a gas station. I too only spoke with him probably five or ten times. But I never forgot his face all these years. He was neat as a pin, very focused, and had a warm smile. He left an impression on me. I felt safe each time he walked into our little station. Always gave us a tidbit of news or a tip on safety. I remember hearing the horrible news and how grief and disbelief seemed to just hang in the air. We prayed for his family, and grieved along with them. It is sad, and wonderful to read these reflections of him. God bless his family and friends until they reunite with him where there is no more parting or tears.

June 6, 2016


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