Police Officer Curtis Avery Van Derson

Police Officer Curtis Avery Van Derson

Creswell Police Department, Oregon

End of Watch Friday, November 5, 1971

Curtis Avery Van Derson

Officer Curtis Van Derson was shot and killed when he was ambushed while responding to a bank robbery call. He was shot by a suspect armed with a rifle who was in an ambush position across the street from the bank.

The suspect who murdered Officer Van Derson served only 14 years in prison for the murder. He later was convicted of manslaughter for another murder and was again released from prison. In 2008 he was convicted of attempted murder for a plot to murder a Lane County deputy district attorney.

Officer Van Derson was survived by his wife, daughter, and son.


  • Age 31
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Released after 14 years

Most Recent Reflection

View all 13 Reflections

I was working at a service station 1/2 block away and heard the gunshot. I have thought of Officer Van Derson often in the last 47 years. I will visit the national memorial in DC this spring.
Poor legal system.
Later I spent 5 years On Springfield PD in the mid 70’s

David Young
Springfield PD

March 29, 2018

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