Officer Richard J. Adair

Officer Richard J. Adair

Juneau Police Department, Alaska

End of Watch Tuesday, April 17, 1979

Richard J. Adair

Officer Richard Adair and Officer Jimmy Kennedy were ambushed while responding to a shots fired call.

The officers were dispatched to a weapon call, as the suspect had opened fire without provocation on a neighbor and wounded him as he drove out of his driveway. The wounded driver drove down a hill, passed out and wrecked, prompting neighbors to call police.

As the officers pulled up near the suspect's home, he fired on both with a rifle from a second floor window, striking them both in the head and killing them instantly. A back-up officer, a responding detective, was also shot and wounded. The chief of police then arrived and contained the scene while calling for backup from Alaska State Troopers. Before the troopers arrived, the suspect committed suicide.

Officer Adair had served with the Juneau Police Department for just under 10 years.


  • Age 51
  • Tour 9 years, 11 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; Automatic
  • Offender Committed suicide

Most Recent Reflection

View all 14 Reflections

I joined the Juneau Police Department in 1986, 6 1/2 years after the shootings deaths of Adair and Kennedy. The tragedy seemed fresh in the department, and all 3 of my FTO’s hammered the incident home as a training tool, instilling in me to treat all calls as unique and not routine, to be wary and observant, cautious and careful.

The tragic losses of both of you, the way your brother officers missed you, the way they emotionally used your sacrifice as a training tool, I believe the lessons learned had saved my life on several dicie calls. It helped make me a better officer, a better FTO, and a better Detective.

While with JPD, I attended your memorial service every year. I always returned later to pay my personal respects. Although I was never allowed to work the streets with you, I felt you were always there as backup. Thank you for helping to keep me safe, brothers.

Sr. Detective Kenneth J. Jennings (ret.)
Juneau Police Department

February 15, 2018

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.