Patrolman Frank Peterson

Patrolman Frank Peterson

Rugby Police Department, North Dakota

End of Watch Sunday, February 3, 1963

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Frank Peterson

Patrolman Frank Peterson was shot and killed when he surprised two men burglarizing a business on Main Street in Rugby around 5:00 a.m.

When Patrolman Peterson witnessed a burglary in progress, he moved his patrol car into an alley off of Third Street to block the suspects' escape. As he looked over their car and moved through the alley to find the suspects, the suspects opened fire on Patrolman Peterson. Despite being wounded, he attempted to crawl to his patrol vehicle to radio for back-up. The suspects walked closer to Patrolman Peterson, and used a total of seven guns to shoot him 16 times. Several of the shots came from the officer's service revolver.

The two men moved the police car and fled. They were arrested in Minot several days later and charged with first degree murder. Both suspects, ages 21 and 22, were convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison on March 19, 1963. One was paroled in 1979 and the other shortly thereafter.

Patrolman Peterson was a part-time officer for the Rugby Police Department and had previously served as a deputy for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter.


  • Age 56
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

ambush, robbery, robbery in progress

Most Recent Reflection

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I am writing a narrative about Officer Peterson's murder. I would like to be able to talk to Traci about her role in the matter.

Mayor Dale G. Niewoehner
City of Rugby

April 2, 2024

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