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 Burt was shot and killed in Fullerton, California, while making a traffic stop. 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. As he lay 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 plead 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 plead 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.


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

Incident Details

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

Most Recent Reflection

View all 74 Reflections

I saw your name post up on social media today. Your son is full grown! I thought I'd put you on my heroes wall. I remember when this call went out. I dropped a Bible off with some of my favorite verses written in it (Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God). I'm glad your family got it. Rest in peace brother!

Desiree Ivey
Retired 2002- Brea PD
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Matt. 5:9

July 16, 2019

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