Police Officer Bruce VanderJagt

Police Officer Bruce VanderJagt

Denver Police Department, Colorado

End of Watch Wednesday, November 12, 1997

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Bruce VanderJagt

Police Officer Bruce VanderJagt was shot and killed while assisting another agency in an attempt to apprehend burglary suspects whom they had chased into Denver during a 30 mile pursuit.

As Officer VanderJagt was approaching the apartment, in the 3300 block of South Monaco Parkway, the suspect opened fire on him with a fully automatic SKS rifle. He was struck several times in the head and torso. He was pronounced dead at 3:58 pm at Denver Medical Health Center.

The suspect was found dead at approximately 4:30 pm from a self-inflicted gunshot wound from Officer VanderJagt's weapon. The initial suspect who committed the burglary, which eventually led to Officer VanderJagt's murder, was sentenced to life in prison for her role but was later released to a halfway house.

Officer VanderJagt had served with the Denver Police Department for 11 years. He is survived by his wife and two-year-old daughter.

Bio

  • Age 47
  • Tour 11 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; SKS
  • Offender Committed suicide

burglary, foot pursuit

Most Recent Reflection

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Last week I visited Bruce's inscription at the National Law Enforcement Memorial, recalling this is the 25th year since his death.

Bruce and I worked together for the University of Denver PD before he laterally entered Denver PD. We both enjoyed working in an academic environment because of the exposure to ideas -- although he was a much greater intellect than I am!

I left law enforcement for seminary the year before he died, but I continue to serve as a police chaplain. Three of my nephews are officers in different departments, and I have told them of Bruce and encouraged them to follow his example.

Rest in peace and memory, friend.

Chaplain Michael Stein
Loveland Colorado Police Department

March 27, 2022

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