Police Officer Michael D. Russell

Police Officer Michael D. Russell

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Thursday, August 2, 1979

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Michael D. Russell

Police Officer Michael Russell was shot and killed while off-duty as he attempted to arrest a man who shot and killed a civilian.

Officer Russell had just finished his tour and went to a softball field at a local public school to play softball with several officers from his precinct and several community members. During the game, three men began to slowly walk across the field, interrupting the game. When the civilian playing in the outfield asked the men to get off the field, one of the men drew an Arminius .38 special and fatally shot him. The subject then fled with Officer Russell and several other off-duty officers in pursuit.

The man exchanged several shots with the officers and was struck twice in the legs. He was cornered in the rear yard of 203 Essex Street in Brooklyn. Officer Russell was shot in the stomach as he and other officers attempted to take the man into custody.

Officer Russell was transported to the hospital where he died from his wound several hours later.

The 18-year-old subject was convicted of second-degree murder and manslaughter and sentenced to life in prison. He was paroled in August 2020.

Officer Russell was assigned to the 75th Precinct. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 30
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge 8194

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

arrest attempt, foot pursuit, murder suspect, off duty

Most Recent Reflection

View all 27 Reflections

Mike and family: I've been to NY City many times. It is a great city, but not so much now. I made friends with some of NYPD's finest from time to time, and had NYPD friends from the FBINA.. I also worked a couple homicide cases, where we got assistance from NYPD through the years. A great department. Anyway, sorry to hear the perp was paroled. It's got to hard on your family. However, your dedication to duty and your willingness to chase down the perp says a lot about who you were. Thanks for your sacrifice, courage and outstanding service to the citizens of New York. I hope the family is doing well, under the circumstances. A fellow peace officer from the West.

Jim Lopey, Asst. Sheriff (ret) and NVDPS
Washoe County Sheriff (Reno, Nevada) & NVDPS (current)

August 2, 2022

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