Trooper Ray Lynn Pierson

Trooper Ray Lynn Pierson

Utah Highway Patrol, Utah

End of Watch Tuesday, November 7, 1978

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Ray Lynn Pierson

Trooper Ray Pierson was shot and killed while making a traffic stop on Highway 20, approximately 1-1/2 miles west of Route 89, north of Panguitch.

Unbeknownst to Trooper Pierson, the vehicle had been stolen and the driver, a fugitive from Illinois, had just stolen gas from a service station. While talking to the driver, the man suddenly produced a .357 caliber handgun and shot Trooper Pierson in the chest. Trooper Pierson was able to return fire as the suspect fled but did not strike him.

The man was apprehended following a high-speed pursuit and his attempt to crash through a police roadblock near Beaver.

The 18-year-old man was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison on July 19th, 1979. He was granted parole in September 2019.

Trooper Pierson was a U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War. He had served with the Utah Highway Patrol for four years and had previously served with the Parowan Police Department. He was survived by his expectant wife, daughter, and two sons. His father also served with the agency.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .357 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

larceny, stolen vehicle, traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace Trooper Pierson.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

July 19, 2019

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