Police Officer Walter Franklin Stathers

Police Officer Walter Franklin Stathers

Coral Gables Police Department, Florida

End of Watch Tuesday, December 19, 1967

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Walter Franklin Stathers

Police Officer Walter Stathers was shot and killed, possibly with his own weapon, while on patrol in an upscale neighborhood.

He had been assigned to the neighborhood for nine years and knew all of the residents. He had been on the lookout for a prowler throughout his shift and spotted him at 4:00 am. After requesting a canine unit, he became engaged in a struggle with the suspect, who then fatally shot him.

The suspect escaped and was never identified.

Officer Stathers was a United States Navy veteran and had served with the Coral Gables Police Department for 14 years. He was survived by his wife, son, and four siblings.


  • Age 45
  • Tour 14 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Never identified


Most Recent Reflection

View all 22 Reflections

On December 19, 1967, I was fifteen and lived in South Miami and I had a Miami Herald paper route in Coconut Grove. I would ride my Vespa scooter down Sunset Drive to the Grove and when I would finish my deliveries I would ride back. On this morning going home I observed a lot of police activity and determined it was the result of Officer Stathers' shooting. I quickly recognized the Kaber's residence because I had gone to school with one of the daughters and observed Officer Stathers body which was covered. He was located on the south side of the residence in the grass and his police car was facing north not far away in the back yard against the wall of the house. I have never forgotten that time and how sad/shock I was. I would later become a police officer for Coral Gables and had the occasion to speak with Officers who were on the scene that fateful day. I would later transfer to the Miami Dade Police Department and would frequently check in with the cold case detectives who were assigned to the case. It is my hope that this case will be solved so justice may be served and the family may finally have the closure they so rightfully deserve.

William J Kean, Sergeant (retired)
Miami Dade Police Department

February 22, 2024

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