Police Officer John Thomas Burnette

Police Officer John Thomas Burnette

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, North Carolina

End of Watch Tuesday, October 5, 1993

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John Thomas Burnette

Officer John Burnette and Officer Anthony Nobles were shot and killed after a foot chase with a suspect.

The officers had stopped a suspicious van in an apartment complex. The suspect fled on foot into the woods surrounding the complex. When the officers entered the woods, the suspect attacked them and was able to disarm Officer Burnette. He then shot both officers.

The officers were transported to Carolinas Medical Center by responding officers, where both were pronounced dead on arrival.

The suspect was arrested nearby after a brief manhunt involving over 700 officers from various local, state, and federal agencies in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was later convicted of two counts of first degree murder and sentenced to death.

Officer Burnette had served with the agency for two and a half years. He is survived by his mother, stepfather, and sister.

The city of Charlotte named a park and two streets in honor of Officer Burnette and Officer Nobles.


  • Age 25
  • Tour 2 years, 6 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to death

Most Recent Reflection

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In the Community Policing video highlighting your life and death, as well as that of Andy Nobles, your mother relates telling people: "I'm John Burnette's mother, and I know they don't really care, but I tell them anyway". I had the privilege of meeting your mother at the N.C. Police Memorial Day Service at Duke University Chapel some years ago. I told her how all the officers in our department watched that video as part of their in-service training, and that I wanted to let her know that in regards to that statement, we cared that she was John Burnette's mother! I had a wonderful conversation with her about you and a short time after she walked away, she found me again and gave me the "baseball" cards of you and Andy Nobles that she had retrieved from her car. I cherish that conversation with your mother, and the cards have been prominently displayed in my various offices ever since. It is literally 26 years to the hour that we lost you and Andy. As sad as it is to think of who we lost at the time, it is even more sad to think of what we've lost in the years since. What would you have gone on to do? Thanks for keeping the faith, and for the sacrifice you made in your service to your community and to our profession. God Bless You, John Burnette.

NC Officer

October 5, 2019

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