Officer Don Joseph Burt

Officer Don Joseph Burt

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch Saturday, July 13, 1996

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Don Joseph Burt

Officer Don Burt was shot and killed while making a traffic stop on Nutwood Avenue in Fullerton at 8:30 p.m.

Officer Burt was impounding the vehicle after discovering that the driver was driving on a suspended license. As he was searching the trunk, he found forged payroll checks and counterfeit traveler's checks. When he went to question the suspect, the man produced a 9 mm handgun and shot him six times. While lying on the ground, the suspect stole his weapon and keys and then shot him execution-style in the head.

The suspect stole his patrol car and fled the scene. He was eventually located and apprehended in Houston, Texas. The suspect pleaded guilty to federal murder-for-hire charges after an attempt to have witnesses and the deputy district attorney in the case murdered. As a result of that plea agreement, he also pleaded guilty to the murder of Officer Burt and, on June 23, 2000, was sentenced to death.

Officer Burt had served with the California Highway Patrol for just over 1 year. Officer Burt's wife gave birth to their son on September 22, 1996, two months after his murder. His father also served with the California Highway Patrol, and his father-in-law and brother-in-law were law enforcement officers in California.


  • Age 25
  • Tour 1 year, 3 months
  • Badge 13892

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; 9 mm
  • Offender Sentenced to death

convicted felon, traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

View all 80 Reflections

Dear Don: I never got to meet you, but Kristin has told me how much she loves and misses you. I know your death was a long time ago, but I appreciate the sacrifice you gave for others. Kristin is my first cousin and we haven't met yet but we talk on the phone. Hopefully I will meet Kristin and the boys soon. I want to hear more good things about you! May GOD bless your family! Rest in peace Don!

Terri Quiroga (Tucson, Arizona)

May 16, 2024

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