Motorcycle Officer Paul Lawrence Verna

Motorcycle Officer Paul Lawrence Verna

Los Angeles Police Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, June 2, 1983

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Paul Lawrence Verna

Motor Cycle Officer Paul Verna of the Los Angeles Police Department was shot and killed after making a traffic stop of a vehicle containing two armed robbery suspects. One of the men shot Officer Verna once, then passed the revolver to the second subject, who shot him five more times.

Both men, both 26, and two women, both 25, were apprehended the next day. On October 2, 1985 both men were sentenced to death. As of December 3, 2022, both were still on death row.

Officer Verna served in the U.S. Air Force from 1965 to 1968. He served 14 years in law enforcement. On December 10, 1981, he rescued two mentally retarded boys from a burning building. He is survived by his wife and two sons - both of whom went on to become LAPD police officers.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 14 years
  • Badge 15086
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Sentenced to death

traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

View all 57 Reflections

Paul Verna was the easiest going guy you could ever meet.

As Paul’s classmate and having been newly sworn in as a Los Angeles Policeman at the LAPD Academy, Class of 4-21-1969, I remember the times (daily) we would be sweaty, exhausted on the PT field or running the hill or the taking long runs but when you had eye contact with Paul he would manage to produce a smile.

As typical of Academy graduation where classmates get assigned to the four corners of Los Angeles, luck would have it that I lost contact with Paul!

Years passed before I made ran into Paul, looking sharp in his motor uniform and boots outside WLA Station. It was great to see him.

We smiled once again reminiscing our Academy time together.

When I learned of Paul’s death, like everyone, I too was devastated!

The loss and pain of Paul’s family cannot be measured.

Barry Levin another classmate of ours was tragically taken from us. I think of him too!

May God bless Paul’s two wonderful sons knowing Paul is looking down on them with pride! God bless his wife too!

Jim King WLA Detectives P3+1
LAPD - WLA Division - Classmate of Recruit Class 4-21-1969

August 25, 2022

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