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Patrolman Donald W. Gaskin | Louisville Police Department, Kentucky Louisville Police Department, Kentucky


Donald W. Gaskin

Louisville Police Department, Kentucky

End of Watch: Tuesday, December 30, 1969

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 31

Tour: 6 years

Badge # Not available

Military veteran

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; .45 caliber

Offender: Sentenced to life

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Patrolman Donald Gaskin and Detective James Ratliff were shot and killed when they responded to a robbery call at a local grocery store at 2328 Osage Avenue.

Two suspects were inside the store when Patrolman Gaskin arrived at the scene. The suspect ordered the store clerk to open the door, and as Patrolman Gaskin entered, he was shot by the suspect.

Detective Ratliff and his partner arrived just as Patrolman Gaskin was shot. As the detectives ran for cover, another shot was fired and struck Detective Ratliff.

During an ensuing shootout two other officers and the two suspects were wounded. Patrolman Gaskin succumbed to his wounds before reaching the hospital. Detective Ratliff succumbed to his injuries approximately five hours later during surgery.

Both suspects were convicted of both murders and sentenced to death. Their sentenced were later commuted to life.

Patrolman Gaskin was a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War and had served with the Louisville Police Department for six years.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Detective James Ratliff
Louisville Police Department, Kentucky
End of Watch: Tuesday, December 30, 1969
Cause: Gunfire

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Most Recent Reflection

Officer Gaskin I thank you for protecting your community. You are loved by so many. I feel your loss when I speak with your fiance who still holds a very special place in her heart for you. Thank you seems like an empty statement in comparison to what you gave in doing you duty. God Bless you.

December 31, 2014


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