Officer Gary Elton Rippstein

Officer Gary Elton Rippstein

Torrance Police Department, California

End of Watch Sunday, December 22, 1968

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Gary Elton Rippstein

Officer Rippstein was shot and killed as he and his partner attempted to arrest an auto-theft suspect. The officers were invited inside the home by the man's wife and were immediately fired upon by the suspect. Officer Rippstein was struck by one of the rounds and killed. His partner and other backup officers returned fire and killed the suspect.

Officer Rippstein had served with the Torrance Police Department for 6 years and was the agency's first police chaplain. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, December 21, 1968
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

View all 18 Reflections

My family lived next door on Knode Street to officer Gary. We had just immigrated from England. We were a pretty big family. 5 kids and finally 10. He was our American hero. Big and strong. Took my older brothers out hiking. I remember as a kid hopping the fence after a ball. Officer Gary wasnt home. His german shepard was. I retreated to the top of his swingset. I was pretty scared. For an hour or so. Its a long time ago. Pops brought us to San Diego. I remember the day we heard about his death. My dad was really sad. I hope to see officer Gary again in heaven when my time comes. He was truly the best.p

David Allen

April 29, 2019

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