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Trooper Ronald J. Donahue | New York State Police, New York New York State Police, New York

Trooper

Ronald J. Donahue

New York State Police, New York

End of Watch: Saturday, May 23, 1959

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 23

Tour: 11 months

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Officer's handgun

Offender: Sentenced to 5 years probation

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Trooper Donahue was shot and killed after he and his partner attempted to arrest a group of men who were creating a disturbance outside the courthouse. Trooper Donahue and his partner had arrested a suspect earlier in the day and brought him in front of a judge for arraignment. After the arraignment the suspect's friends created a disturbance outside of the courthouse. When Trooper Donahue and his partner attempted to arrest the men a struggle ensued and one of the suspects gained control of Trooper Donahue's gun. The suspect shot and wounded Trooper Donahue's partner and shot and killed Trooper Donahue. Trooper Donahue's partner was able to return fire and wound the suspect, who was then taken into custody.

The suspect was convicted of manslaughter on June 24, 1960. He received a suspended sentence and was placed on probation for five years. The Association of Former New York State Troopers charged that Franklin County court officials had grossly mishandled the case. The general public was outraged.

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Happy birthday to my brother, Ronald J.Donahue. Not a day goes by without a beautiful memory of my big brother. I am so proud of your bravery. Your watch was over on May 23, 1959, but you always remain in our hearts. Semiper Fi....
Love from your baby sister.

Patricia Vallejo
Sister
July 29, 2017

 

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