Trooper Ronald Gordon Smith

Trooper Ronald Gordon Smith

Florida Highway Patrol, Florida

End of Watch Sunday, December 23, 1973

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Ronald Gordon Smith

Trooper Ronald Smith was shot and killed while checking on two suspicious men parked on a dirt road east of U.S. 19, three miles north of Crystal River in Citrus County. One of the men, age 23, shot Trooper Smith four times.

The subjects attempted to flee, but two nearby hunters shot and wounded one of them and then captured both. One suspect was an escapee from an Oklahoma prison, and the other was a parolee. The shooter was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. In 1989 his sentence was commuted to life. As of November 20, 2020, he was still in a Florida Prison. His companion was sentenced to two years for accessory to murder.

Trooper Smith was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He had served with the Florida Highway Patrol for three months and had previously served with the Tallahassee Police Department. He was survived by his wife and 2-year-old daughter. His father retired from the Tallahassee Police Department.


  • Age 28
  • Tour 4 years, 3 months
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .22 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced commuted to life

convicted felon, escapee, parolee, suspicious vehicle

Most Recent Reflection

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On Thursday January 11th at 1200. The members of NARLEO, The National Association of Retired Law Enforcement Officers, will be holding a 50th anniversary memorial service at the Trooper Smith memorial on US 19 in Crystal River. All are welcome to attend.

Deputy Inspector Tim Hogan (Ret)

January 8, 2024

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