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Patrolman Gary D. McCullen | Saginaw Police Department, Michigan Saginaw Police Department, Michigan


Gary D. McCullen

Saginaw Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch: Friday, December 8, 1967

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 21

Tour: 3 years

Badge # 48

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Manslaughter charges dismissed

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Patrolman Gary McCullen was shot and killed by the owner of a bar when he and two other officers entered the bar seeking suspects. The suspects were watned in connection with the robbery of a bowling alley and two bars earlier in the evening that resulted in two other officers being shot.

Patrolman McCullen, and the other officers in civilian clothing, entered the Annex bar through the fire exit, carrying their shotguns while a uniformed officer waited outside the front entrance. The officers shouted that two officers had been shot and ordered everyone to freeze.

As Patrolman McCullen disarmed the bouncer, the bar's owner opened fire from a storage room hitting Patrolman McCullen in the back. Patrolman McCullen began running to the storage room, but collapsed from his injuries as he reached steps leading to the room. Despite being mortally wounded, Patrolman McCullen returned fire as the bar owner fired again through the door hitting Patrolman McCullen once in the head. Upon hearing the shots the uniformed officer entered the bar and shouted that they were police officers.

The bar owner testified that he believed that the two officers were the same robbers that struck other bars earlier that evening and did not realize they were policemen until the uniformed officer entered the bar. He was charged with manslaughter, but the case was dismissed as a combination of self defense and mistaken identity on February 2nd, 1968.

Patrolman McCullen had served with the Saginaw Police Department for three years. He was survived by his wife.

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Patrolman Gary McCullen and my aunt Elizabeth Wainwright had barely begun to spend their lives together as man and wife when tragically He was killed in the line of duty in Saginaw, Michigan. He was my Godfather. My parents have spoken of Gary McCullen with tremendous respect and honor my entire life. I was only three months old when He died. I never got the chance to know Him. I am 46 now, and as Mother and Grandmother I cannot begin to imagine the pain His own Mother must still feel. It is with tremendous respect to the entire McCullen Family I wish to extend my deepest sorrow for Your Son, Your Hero's sacrifice to the City of Saginaw. I will continue to honor His memory by sharing His story with my children and grandson. GOD BLESS YOU

December 31, 2013


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