Police Officer John Stuart Trettin

Police Officer John Stuart Trettin

Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Sunday, February 29, 1976

Add to My Heroes

John Stuart Trettin

Police Officer John Trettin was shot and fatally wounded by a bullet fired from the roof of a housing project at 25th and Jackson Streets as he and several officers investigated a report of shots being fired.

He died four days later from a gunshot wound to the head. A 15-year-old youth was arrested the next day and charged with murder.

The suspect, who told police "I just wanted to kill a cop," was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life on September 21st, 1976. In September 2017 the subject was resentenced to 44 years to life in prison, making him eligible for parole, following a United States Supreme Court ruling prohibiting mandatory life sentences for juvenile offenders.

Officer Trettin was a U.S Army veteran of the Vietnam war. He was survived by his wife and three young children.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge 4623
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Wednesday, February 25, 1976
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Sentenced to 44 years

ambush, shots fired call, sniper

Most Recent Reflection

View all 37 Reflections

Officer Trettin,
On today, the 44th 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

February 29, 2020

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.