Police Officer Richard Philpott

Police Officer Richard Philpott

Oakland Police Department, California

End of Watch Wednesday, January 7, 1931

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Richard Philpott

Officer Philpott died from a shotgun blast he received the day before while he was investigating a domestic disturbance.

Officer Philpott and his partner, Officer Fife, received instructions to patch up a family disturbance. They were met by a large crowd of neighbors and the family of the man of the household. The wife told the officers her husband had been acting strangely and had beaten her. Her son said his father was in the barn next to the house and he had a shotgun, but that it wasn't loaded.

The officers proceeded to the barn and as they stepped through the door, the information regarding the unloaded shotgun proved erroneous. Officer Philpott was struck in the face by the shotgun blast and fell to the ground, unconscious. Fife fired six rounds at the suspect, incapacitating him. Philpott was rushed to Merritt Hospital, blinded and with almost 50 birdshot penetration wounds to his head. He died of his wounds the next day.

The 58-year-old suspect was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in San Quentin Prison. He died in San Quentin Prison on July 23, 1947.

Officer Philpott was survived by his wife, stepdaughter, and stepson.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Tuesday, January 6, 1931
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Died in prison

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Philpott,
On today, the 90th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Oakland.


United States Border Patrol

January 7, 2021

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