Police Officer David Richard Van Curler

Police Officer David Richard Van Curler

West Palm Beach Police Department, Florida

End of Watch Thursday, April 6, 1967

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David Richard Van Curler

Police Officer Van Curler and Officer William Fletcher were shot and killed while responding to a disturbance at a local bank at 45th Street and Broadway.

The bank manager had called after hours to report a man pounding on the doors and yelling to be let in. After arriving Officer Fletcher contacted the employees of the bank and then went to talk to the man who was still in front of the bank. The man continued to shout and cause a disturbance as Officer Fletcher tried to talk to him. Because portable radios were not used at the time, Officer Fletcher returned to his cruiser to call for backup.

As Officer Fletcher completed his transmission, the man began walking towards him and met him at the curb. The man then struck him and knocked him down. During the ensuing struggle, the man gained control of Officer Fletcher's revolver and shot him twice. At that moment, Officer Van Curler arrived on his motorcycle.

The man immediately opened fire, shooting through the motorcycle's windshield and striking Officer Van Curler in the chest. After walking over to Officer Van Curler, the man then attempted to shoot him again, but the gun was empty. He then took Officer Van Curler's weapon. Officer Fletcher had managed to get to his feet, but the suspect shot him again with Officer Van Curler's weapon, fatally wounding him. Other officers arrived on the scene and took the suspect into custody.

The suspect was committed to a mental hospital where he later died.

Officer Van Curler had served with the West Palm Beach Police Department for four years. He was survived by his wife and five children.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Died in custody

disturbance, EDP

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I just found the article about how my great grandpa die I was really close with is son Dan(my grandpa) he passed in 2020 and I ask my mom about his bio dad and then I looked up this story first time I seen him thanks for your service great grandpa

Collin cerven
my grandpa's dad

April 16, 2024

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