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Patrolman Robert H. Fossum | Minneapolis Police Department, Minnesota Minneapolis Police Department, Minnesota


Robert H. Fossum

Minneapolis Police Department, Minnesota

End of Watch: Saturday, August 17, 1957

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 31

Tour: 6 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Shot and killed

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Patrolman Fossum was shot and killed during a vehicle pursuit of several suspects. He and his partner, Patrolman Ward Canfield, began chasing a stolen car, not knowing that the three occupants were en route to rob a local market. During the chase the suspects began firing at the officers' squad car, before crashing. As the officers approached the suspects opened fire again, striking Patrolman Fossum in the head, killing him.

As the suspects attempted to escape they also shot Officer Canfield before striking him with their vehicle and dragging him approximately 30 feet. The suspects, all brothers, were able to elude authorities for 28 days before they were located. Two of the suspects were shot and killed in a shootout with police and the third suspect committed suicide in jail in 1958.

Patrolman Canfield was forced to retire due to his injuries in 1960 and was confined to a wheelchair and his bed. His injuries required him to have 97 blood transfusions and over 100 surgeries. He succumbed to his wounds on March 2, 2000. The Hennepin County, Minnesota, coroner ruled his death a homicide due to the gunshot wounds.

Patrolman Fossum had been with the agency for six years. He was survived by his expectant wife and three children.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Patrolman Ward Lee Canfield
Minneapolis Police Department, Minnesota
End of Watch: Thursday, March 2, 2000
Cause: Gunfire

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Most Recent Reflection

I went to school at Holy Rosary with Officer Fossum son. The Fossums were in the process of moving to the suburbs when this horrible event occurred. We met some days later and spoke about his father while on the swing. This wanton evil actions should never have occurred .

April 27, 2016


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