Patrolman Terry Lee Thompson

Patrolman Terry Lee Thompson

Burton Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Tuesday, July 5, 1983

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Terry Lee Thompson

Patrolman Terry Thompson was shot and killed while responding to a burglary alarm at a local store. The store's alarm monitoring company heard voices inside the store and notified the manager and police department.

The manager let Patrolman Thompson into the store to search it and then waited by the front door. Moments later one of the two 16-year-old suspects shot Patrolman Thompson.

Other officers surrounded the store but were unable to rescue him for two hours, but he had already passed away from his wounds.

His killer was arrested and sentenced to life in prison. An accomplice was convicted of breaking and entering and later released from prison.

Patrolman Thompson was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the agency for 8 years. He was survived by his wife, parents, sister, and brother.


  • Age 32
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge 13

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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Reflecting on my days at the Flint Police Department during these dates, I noticed today's date in 1980 is when Burton PD's officer Herrick was gunned down and his partner was seriously wounded. Another Burton Officer came to mind, Terry Thompson, also gunned down in a similar fashion in July 1983. I had met both officers and this was the worst news for fellow officers and their families. I know Terry and Russell are doing fine in heave, looking down on fellow officers and keeping them safe.

Sgt Chris Curnow
Flint PD retired

May 9, 2020

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