Police Officer Donald R. Harbour

Police Officer Donald R. Harbour

Riley County Police Department, Kansas

End of Watch Monday, August 9, 1982

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Donald R. Harbour

Officer Donald Harbour was shot and killed while responding to a call from a pawn shop reporting a man attempting to sell a stolen rifle.

When Officer Harbour arrived at the pawn shop he noticed two men sitting in a car directly outside of the shop. He engaged the men and directed them to step out of the vehicle. The passenger of the vehicle then pulled out a handgun and the driver began to drive away. The passenger and Officer Harbour exchanged fire; Officer Harbour was able to hit one of the tires and the body of the vehicle multiple times, but took one return round in the chest, severing his aortic artery. An army medic happened to be nearby and rushed to Officer Harbour's aid, but was unable to stop the bleeding and Officer Harbour died within minutes of the shooting.

The two men in the car fled the scene, but due to the damage to their vehicle, wrecked shortly thereafter. Both bailed out of the vehicle with the driver attempting to flee on foot and the shooter carjacking a woman and taking her hostage. The driver was apprehended after a short foot pursuit, and was charged as an accessory to first degree murder. The shooter lead Riley County units, as well as State Patrol and Kansas Bureau of Investigation units, on a high speed chase through the county. At some point he forced the woman out of the car and continued his attempt to flee alone. However, driving down a highway, he saw that officers from a neighboring county, the State Patrol, and Kansas Bureau of Investigation, had set up a massive roadblock ahead of him. At that point, he shot himself in the head, killing himself before his vehicle veered into a tree.

The man inside the pawn shop was held at gunpoint by the pawn shop owner and was arrested when officers arrived at the scene; he was charged with burglary and attempting to sell stolen goods. The driver was charged as an accessory.

Officer Harbour was survived by his wife, two daughters, one grandchild, and four sisters.

Bio

  • Age 49
  • Tour 22 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Committed suicide

Most Recent Reflection

View all 15 Reflections

Don... The year you were killed was my rookie year on the department, and I remember you as a mentor - - someone to be listened to and respected. I learned from you how to serve in a way that balanced law enforcement with compassion. The department and the community lost an incredible man and officer that fateful day.

You are still remembered all these years later. In fact, I'll be mentioning you at a "flagpole ceremony" tomorrow at Olathe (KS) Police Department, where they have been gracious enough to allow me to give a brief tribute to you. (Peace Officers Memorial Day, 2019)

I know you are up there, an angel wearing a badge, looking down and protecting officers that may waiver in courage, strength, and faith. Know that you are remembered and missed...

Dave Parnell
Former RCPD officer

May 14, 2019

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