Police Officer James R. Reifschneider

Police Officer James R. Reifschneider

St. Louis County Police Department, Missouri

End of Watch Saturday, April 30, 1977

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James R. Reifschneider

Officer Reifschneider was struck and killed by a drunk driver while on I-270. He was standing by the driver's side door of a stalled vehicle talking with the driver when a 19-year-old youth struck him and dragged him 150 feet down the roadway. The suspect fled the scene. The suspect was found passed out in the back seat of his vehicle parked in front of his residence. It was later discovered he had crashed into a parked vehicle near his residence before he got home.

The youth admitted he had been drinking a lot and did not remember the accident. Almost a year later he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 6 years in prison. Three months later a judge ruled his sentence was too harsh and reduced it to two years.

Officer Reifschneider had been a member of the St. Louis County Police Department for 16 years and was survived by his wife, two sons, and daughter.


  • Age 37
  • Tour 16 years
  • Badge 430

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Weapon Automobile; Alcohol involved
  • Offender Sentenced to 2 years

Most Recent Reflection

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Hey Rief: My daughter called and asked me if I remembered today. Told her I remember every 4/30. Taken too soon and missed too much.

Ken Dye
St. Louis County Police Department

April 30, 2020

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