Wildlife Officer Margaret E. "Peggy" Park

Wildlife Officer Margaret E. "Peggy" Park

Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Florida

End of Watch Thursday, December 13, 1984

Margaret E. "Peggy" Park

Wildlife Officer Margaret Park was shot and killed with her own service weapon when seizing an illegal weapon from a suspect on Keystone Road in Pinellas County. Officer Park had just finished citing a poacher when she heard gunshots coming from an undeveloped subdivision. Officer Park located a pair of men and located a handgun in their van. One of the suspects asked her not to arrest him because he was on probation for grand theft and breaking and entering.

As Officer Park reached into her truck to radio dispatch the suspect grabbed her flashlight and started hitting her on the head. Officer Park was able to call for help on the radio and fired a single shot from her weapon, grazing the second suspect, who then held her down. The first suspect then gained control of her service weapon and shot her in the back of the head as the second suspect held her down. The two fled the scene but were arrested a short time later.

When caught, the first suspect was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death. His co-defendant, a juvenile, was convicted of third degree murder and sentenced to seven years in prison but served only two years and ten months before being released. The shooter was executed on February 16, 2010.

Officer Park had served with the agency for 2 years. She was survived by her parents.

Bio

  • Age 26
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Executed in 2010

Most Recent Reflection

View all 51 Reflections

I can remember the night that Peggy was shot as clear as if it were yesterday. I was serving as her "sister" saltwater counterpart in the Florida Marine Patrol. Friends of my husband kept frantically calling saying they had heard a female officer had been killed in a remote area. They thought it was me. There were not many women serving in uniform for the State of Florida in 1984 when Peggy was murdered. I could hear my husband say repeatedly to callers that it was Peggy Park, not me.

My "End of Watch" was a voluntary one after twenty years of service to go home to be with my toddler son. To me, it is sad that Peggy never had a chance at those choices: to pick her retirement date or to be a mom. May she rest in peace.

Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Jenna S. Venero
Florida Marine Patrol (Fla. Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission)

April 19, 2018

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