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Patrolman David L. Coker | New Mexico State Police, New Mexico New Mexico State Police, New Mexico


David L. Coker

New Mexico State Police, New Mexico

End of Watch: Sunday, November 18, 1979

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 31

Tour: 4 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; .38 caliber

Offender: Shot and killed

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Patrolman David Coker was shot and killed during a traffic stop on I-40, near Santa Rosa.

The driver immediately exited his car and approached Patrolman Coker's patrol car, where he produced a .38 caliber handgun. He ordered Patrolman Coker to empty his service revolver on the passenger seat. He then had him walk down an embankment on the side of the road.

As Patrolman Coker took off his coat he retrieved his backup weapon from a holster sewn into the coat. Both he and the man fired at the same time. Patrolman Coker's shot struck the subject in the chest, but the man's shot struck Patrolman Coker in face, killing him instantly. The man stumbled back to the patrol car where he collapsed and dropped his weapon. A passerby kicked the handgun away and detained the man, who later died.

Patrolman Coker had served with the New Mexico State Police for four years.

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Most Recent Reflection

Well David here it is November 18, 2016. I've been thinking about you all day and could not make it stop. I decided to look you up. I forgot the exact day you went to see God. It's been 37 years today. I still miss you little brother. Everyday. I am grateful that God put you in my life. I put 37 years in law enforcement. The numbers seem like a coincidence, but I believe it's not. I somehow made it through those years without getting shot or having to shoot anyone. I have to attribute part of that to you. I still remember what you taught me. There were others I learned from, but you were the one I considered my training Officer. I have 3 children in Law Enforcement. I ask that you watch over them. I thank you for your friendship and training. I know that you are with God. Thank you for your service.

Micheal R. Mirabal, (Retired Captain)
Alamogordo Department of Public Safety
November 19, 2016


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