Police Officer John L. Summers, Jr.

Police Officer John L. Summers, Jr.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Missouri

End of Watch Thursday, April 5, 1973

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John L. Summers, Jr.

Police Officer John Summers was shot and killed while chasing a suspect who had been shooting at his wife and setting her house on fire.

Officer Summers and other officers had responded to the home at 5777 Westminster Place. Officer Summers chased the suspect across the street, at which time several shots were fired. The suspect was taken into custody by other officers. After being unable to locate Officer Summers, it was realized that he never cleared back to duty, and a search was begun for him. He was found in the backyard of a home with a bullet wound from which he bled to death.

The subject was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life. He received an additional 40 years for arson.

Officer Summers was a United States Army Vietnam War veteran and had served with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for eight years. He is survived by his wife and three sons.

Officer Summers was the first black police officer to be killed in the line of duty with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Sentenced to life

arson, domestic, shots fired

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Summers,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

April 5, 2023

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