Trooper James Donald Thornton

Trooper James Donald Thornton

Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas

End of Watch Tuesday, October 2, 1973

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James Donald Thornton

Trooper James Thornton was shot and killed while checking on a hitchhiker on I-70 near Topeka, Kansas.

The suspect was wanted in New York for the murder of his father. The suspect was shot and killed by other officers when he refused to surrender.

Trooper Thornton had served with the Kansas Highway Patrol for 24 years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 52
  • Tour 24 years
  • Badge 47

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Shot and killed

suspicious person

Most Recent Reflection

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


United States Border Patrol

October 2, 2023

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