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. Both suspects were escapees from an Oklahoma prison. 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.


  • Age 28
  • Tour 3 months
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

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

suspicious vehicle

Most Recent Reflection

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After getting a burger from McDonalds in Crystal River, I was looking for a place to pull over and eat.
I just happened to turn the corner off of 19 and ended up in front of the Memorial. I didn't notice it at first, but I then saw it. After eating , I got out to read about Trooper Ronald Smith. What a shame he had to come upon two scumbags. RIP Trooper Smith.


February 15, 2022

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