Officer Richard H. Pennington

Officer Richard H. Pennington

Vernon Police Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, January 24, 1946

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Richard H. Pennington

Officer Richard Pennington was shot and killed behind the police station after arresting two suspects.

He off duty and riding home when he observed a car fail to stop for another officer who was directing traffic at the corner of Vernon Avenue and Santa Fe Avenue. Officer Pennington chased the suspects a short distance before they finally stopped. He advised both men they were under arrested and ordered them to follow him to the nearby police station. As Officer Pennington stepped off of his motorcycle behind the police station one of the men produced a .38 caliber handgun and shot him to death.

The suspects fled the scene. On February 4th, 1946, the two men attempted to rob a bank in Los Angeles, California. The suspects became engaged in a shootout with two Los Angeles police officers. Both suspects and Officer Walter Kesterson were shot and killed during the shootout.

Officer Pennington was a WWII veteran and had served with the Vernon Police Department for five months. He was survived by his wife and 3-year-old son.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 5 months
  • Badge 10
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed

arrest, off duty

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Pennington,
On today, the 75th anniversary of of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served during WW II. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

January 24, 2021

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