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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Man paroled after 40 years for killing Utah trooper is arrested again

Posted on January 22, 2021
Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A man who was paroled less than a year ago from the Utah State Prison after serving more than 40 years for killing a Utah Highway Patrol trooper has been arrested again.

Brian Keith Stack, 60, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Thursday for investigation of enticing a minor, dealing in harmful materials to a minor and sexual exploitation of a minor.

Stack shot and killed UHP trooper Ray Lynn Pierson on Nov. 7, 1978, after being pulled over on state Route 20 for a minor traffic violation. Pierson was unaware that Stack was a fugitive from Illinois and had just stolen gas in Cove Fort.

Stack was arrested following a chase during which he hit a police car set up as part of a blockade. A total of 87 bullet holes fired by officers were later counted in Stack’s car, including 11 in the windshield. Amazingly, Stack survived with only minor injuries.

He eventually pleaded guilty to the equivalent of aggravated murder in exchange for prosecutors not seeking the death penalty. At the time he was sentenced, life in prison without the possibility of parole was not an option for Utah judges.

In February 2019, Stack went before the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole to plead his case for parole, which was later granted. He was released from the prison on Feb. 17, 2020.

Stack began chatting with an undercover officer posing as a 14-year-old girl on a social media app earlier this month on Jan. 2, according to a police affidavit.

“Brian continued the message conversation and eventually began to request sexual acts from the female,” the affidavit states. “Brian requested nude photographs several times from the female and suggested he take nude pics of the female when they met.”

Stack also sent his own explicit pictures, according to the affidavit. He arranged to meet the “girl” on Thursday in Salt Lake City. When he arrived he was arrested by police.

Retired Police Officer

January 23, 2021

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