Patrolman Sherman L. Toler, Jr.

Patrolman Sherman L. Toler, Jr.

New Mexico State Police, New Mexico

End of Watch Wednesday, March 5, 1986

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Sherman L. Toler, Jr.

Patrolman Sherman Toler was shot and killed with his own weapon during a traffic stop on I-40 in Tucumcari. During the stop he requested to search the trunk of the suspect's vehicle and was granted permission.

During the search the suspect and Patrolman Toler began to argue and a struggle ensued in which both men fell to the ground.

The suspect gained control of Patrolman Toler's .357 caliber revolver, stood up, and shot Patrolman Toler five times at a range of five feet. Patrolman Toler's vest stopped several of the rounds. He then got up as well and pulled out a boot knife to defend himself, at which point the suspect struck him in the head with the revolver.

The suspect sped away but later turned himself in. It was determined that the suspect had his vehicle searched earlier in the day by another New Mexico State Police officer and had a history of fighting with police. He previously convicted of shooting a California officer during a traffic stop. The suspect was convicted of second voluntary manslaughter in connection with Patrolman Toler's murder. The man was sentenced to 17 years but was released after serving only eight years.

Patrolman Toler had served with the New Mexico State Police for seven years. He was survived by his wife, daughter, and two sons.


  • Age 28
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Convicted of voluntary manslaughter

traffic stop

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I hope I have made you proud. Even though I have not yet become a police officer, I have accomplished much. I have fought and bleed and sacrificed much for this country. I am now living in Tn. With a family of my own. I have met a woman that loves me as much as I love her. I've been estranged from three of my other kids due to an ex, but they will one day know you and I. I pray they will also know and love God as much as you did. I hope to one day have a voice like yours. I miss and love you dad. Daniel Vernon Toler.

GMG3 Gunners Mate 3rd Class

August 25, 2019

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