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Detective Hoyt L. Gates | Ogden Police Department, Utah Ogden Police Department, Utah

Detective

Hoyt L. Gates

Ogden Police Department, Utah

End of Watch: Tuesday, February 11, 1941

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 38

Tour: 5 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; .32 caliber

Offender: Executed on February 5, 1943

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Detective Hoyt Gates was shot and killed when he interrupted an armed robbery at a grocery store.

The manager of a grocery store on 34th Street was talking to his wife on the telephone when a suspect entered the store and announced the robbery. The manager told his wife to call the police and hung up the phone. The manager’s wife called the police and officers were dispatched.

Unaware of the robbery, Detective Gates attempted to enter the store. He started to bang on the front door when he found it locked. A clerk came to open the door and attempted to warn him when the suspect started firing. Detective Gates moved so he would not endanger the clerk when he returned fire but moved directly into the suspect’s line of fire. Detective Gates was struck four times. Detective Gates return fire did not strike the suspect, who fled to a storeroom in the rear. Detective Gates exited out the front entrance of the store where he collapsed outside. He was transported to a local hospital where he died shortly thereafter.

The responding officers were told by the store clerks the suspect was still inside. The officers surrounded the store and launched tear gas. The suspect was arrested as he exited the store.The suspect’s wife was arrested several hours later as an accomplice. She was cleared of all charges and released several days later after the suspect confessed she had no part in the crime. The suspect was charged with first-degree murder. He was convicted and executed by firing squad on February 5, 1943. The members of the firing squad were Ogden Police Officers who had served with Detective Gates.


Detective Hoyt Gates served for five years and is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.

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I deeply hope that this reflection is not offensive to anyone who reads it or to any of the Gates family. I have been researching my family and was told by my grandmother that her mother-in-law was married to a man that was executed by firing squad in Utah, 1941. I didn't want to just learn of my great-grandmother's (I never met her) second husband but I had to know who the victim was in this tragic murder. I have seen your picture many times now and think of the loss your wife and children must have felt. I am so very sorry for what happened to you and those who love you. I told my family about what happened and about you. You are not forgotten.

Kimberly F.
March 28, 2017

 

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