Officer Gordon Joseph Rich

Officer Gordon Joseph Rich

Columbus Division of Police, Ohio

End of Watch Saturday, April 5, 1986

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Gordon Joseph Rich

Officer Gordon Rich was shot and killed with his own weapon while making a traffic stop on Interstate 70 around 12:30 a.m.

Unbeknownst to Officer Rich, the men had just committed a robbery. He had placed both men in the back seat of his cruiser. One of them was able to gain control of his weapon and shot him. He attempted to call for help on his police radio but was unable to speak to the dispatcher. A witness to the shooting followed the suspects, who were later apprehended.

The 25-year-old shooter was convicted of murder and sentenced to prison for 33 years to life. He was denied parole in February 2019. His next parole hearing will be on February 1, 2029.

Officer Rich had been with the Columbus Division of Police for 23 years. He is survived by his wife, two children, and two stepchildren.


  • Age 45
  • Tour 23 years
  • Badge 325

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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NEVER FORGET! Please help me honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Officer Gordon Joseph Rich of the Columbus Division of Police, Ohio and the additional 68 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer (Retired)
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

April 5, 2024

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