Policeman Phillip J. Riley

Policeman Phillip J. Riley

Los Angeles Police Department, California

End of Watch Monday, October 25, 1971

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Phillip J. Riley

Policeman Phillip Riley was shot and killed by a man who grabbed his service revolver following a high-speed chase in Venice.

When Officer Riley and his partner initiated a traffic stop, the vehicle sped away. After a short pursuit, the vehicle stopped, and two men ran in different directions. Officer Riley was shot twice in the chest after cornering the suspect on the rocks of the Marina del Rey breakwater. The suspect was arrested after a second high-speed pursuit and a shootout in which he was wounded.

The suspect was an inmate out on a 72-hour pass to look for a job at the Institution of Men at Chino. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to 15 years to life on May 3, 1973. Despite being paroled in 1981, he was back in prison for robbery and died of a drug overdose in 1988.

Officer Riley had served with the Los Angeles Police Department for three years. He was survived by his wife, parents, and brother.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge 14745

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 15 years to life

foot pursuit, parolee, vehicle pursuit

Most Recent Reflection

View all 27 Reflections

I was there the day Officer Riley was shot, arriving on the scene moments after it happened and before the ambulance arrived. It was such a sad sight to see him laying on top of the hard rocks, someone was holding his head up to help him breath. I was so sorry to hear he didn't make it.

Rest in peace Officer Riley.

Ronnette Adams

December 31, 2023

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