Trooper James R. Gross

Trooper James R. Gross

Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio

End of Watch Friday, January 19, 1996

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James R. Gross

Trooper James Gross was shot and killed during a traffic stop in Ashland on I-71. A truck driver had noticed a car driving erratically and contacted the police via CB.

During the stop, Trooper Gross was shot once in his left arm. As he attempted to take cover, he slipped on the wet pavement and fell to the ground. The suspect shot him in the back as he lay on the ground. The round entered below his vest and traveled upwards through his torso.

Other truckers who witnessed the shooting used their CB radios to notify authorities of the incident. The suspect was apprehended when he crashed into an embankment following a 29-mile chase. The ensuing investigation determined that the suspect had previously shot his mother in the foot.

The 30-year-old suspect was initially sentenced to death. In 2005 his death sentence was commuted to life. He will be eligible for parole in June of 2044.

Trooper Gross had served with the Ohio State Highway Patrol for 2 years. He was survived by his wife.

A portion of Interstate 71 in Ashland County, between mileposts 189 and 191, has been dedicated and renamed the James R. Gross Memorial Highway.


  • Age 27
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentence commuted to life

traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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It’s been a while classmate, but you are never forgotten. Your service and life inspired many, but your tragic death continues to motivate us in our training and reinforces OSP’s important mission. We honor you this Memorial Day.

Capt R. L. Zwayer, Unit 695, Class 124
Ohio State Highway Patrol - Retired

May 29, 2023

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