Master Patrolman Richard O. Riggs

Master Patrolman Richard O. Riggs

Oklahoma City Police Department, Oklahoma

End of Watch Tuesday, January 7, 1986

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Richard O. Riggs

Master Patrolman Richard Riggs was shot and killed NE 36th Street, just west of I-35, as he approached a van that had just been used in a robbery several blocks away.

Patrolman Riggs and his partner recognized the van as one reported to be used in an armed robbery minutes earlier. As he approached the suspect he was shot in the chest and abdomen. The suspect was convicted of his murder and subsequently executed in April 2000.

Patrolman Riggs had served with the Oklahoma City Police Department for seven years.

Bio

  • Age 32
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge 1193

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Executed in 2000

robbery

Most Recent Reflection

View all 21 Reflections

At the time of Richard's death I had been working as a
paramedic for 10 years. I spent most of those years working
the downtown area and the NE side of OKC.. Richard and
I became pretty good friends because we worked a lot
calls together. I knew when I got on scene if Richard
was there that my backside would be well covered. This
made my job much easier because I could focus more on
what I needed to do. In turn the patient received better
care and we could clear the scene much faster. Believe me,
the scene could get real crazy at times, especially at night .
I want to say 2 or 3 days prior to Richards death I was walking
out of Presbyterian E.R. to go to my unit and Richard came walking
in. We started talking and I noticed Richard wasn't wearing his vest.
These are the exact words I said to him, I remember this as if it
took place yesterday, so I apologize for the language. I said
Riggs where in the **** is your vest, why don't you have your
vest on? Remember this was just after the holidays, and he said
Mike I gained a few pounds over the holidays and it is somewhat
uncomfortable to wear. I told him he needed to put the dam thing
on or go get one that fits. He said he would think about it and that it
would't take him long to get the weight off. I was Field Supervisor/Paramedic
and was a one man unit at the time. A couple nights later I was in my unit and at about NE 23rd and Eastern. Then over my radio the worse call you ever want to get OFFICER DOWN at NE36th & I-35. Over my career I have had half a dozen of these calls. Its the most dangerous response you will ever have. Its balls to the wall code 3 and you better be on your toes. You have marked and unmarked cars all going 100mph to get to the same place. I was on scene within minutes after receiving the call. I was facing exactly what I was so fearful of just couple of night earlier when I was talking to Richard about not having is vest on. He was in full cardio pulmonary arrest and CPR was started immediately. The first thing you want to do with this type of injury other then CPR, is not waste any time on scene and get moving towards the medical facility. Once you get to the medical facility you can get a lot more aggressive in treating the injury. You have to stop the bleeding if they are going to have a chance of survival. To do that you have to open them up. When I saw Richards chest wound I knew we had to get him to OMH ( Okla. Memorial Hospital was the name of the facility then ) and not waste any time on scene. That is exactly what we did, within 1-2 mins after arriving on scene Richard was on his way to the hospital. His chest wound couldn't have been in a worse place. When you placed your hands on his chest to do chest compressions, the heel of your hand covered the entrance wound. When we arrived at OMH we had an ET Tube in place, IV Lines going and never stopped doing CPR. We all did everything we could do to give Richard a chance for survival, including prayer. I was pretty hard on myself for first couple of months after his death. If only I would of done this or that and got Richard to put is vest on. I believe if Richard had is vest on he would be with us today. We all know what the outcome was and it was a hard pill to swallow, but as always life goes on.
Richard was an outstanding Police Officer and you could tell he loved is job. Better yet and the bottom line is, Richard was really good guy, the type of guy you like to have a couple beers with after work and proud to say he was a friend. I just want to tell Tommy Riggs and the rest of the family their are people like myself who still thinks about Richard after 34 years. In 1990 I moved back to Scottsdale, AZ. which is where I grew up. I'm leaving my email address with the site, so Tommy if you or any of the family have a question you like to ask me feel free.

Mike Crowell

May 7, 2020

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