Detective Ricky Joe Childers

Detective Ricky Joe Childers

Tampa Police Department, Florida

End of Watch Tuesday, May 19, 1998

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Ricky Joe Childers

Detective Ricky Childers and Detective Randy Bell were shot and killed transporting a suspect to the police station for questioning.

The suspect had earlier shot his girlfriend's 3-year-old child in the face with a rifle and took the child to a fire station. As Detective Bell and Detective Childers were transporting the suspect, he was able to free one of his hands from the handcuffs using a hidden key as the car approached I-275 on Floribraska Avenue.

He then reached into the front seat and gained control of one of the detectives' weapons. He shot and killed the driver as he sat in the front seat and the passenger as he was climbing over the back seat in an attempt to get the gun from the suspect. The suspect then obtained his rifle from the trunk of the car and car-jacked another vehicle. He led police on a chase where he shot and killed Florida State Trooper James B. Crooks.

The suspect committed suicide after a standoff at a local gas station.

Detective Childers had served with the Tampa Police Department for 18 years. He is survived by his two children.


  • Age 46
  • Tour 18 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Committed suicide

murder suspect, transport

Most Recent Reflection

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Ricky and I were childhood friends through elementary school and Jr High at Tomlin.

We rode our bikes to school every day and hung out after school.

Ricky was my absolutely BEST friend and at 13 years old, my stalwart leaning post after my Dad died in a truck accident right before Thanksgiving 1964.

We remained friends even after his Collie, Tiger, bit me when I came flying into his yard on my bike.

I moved away to Tampa after 8th grade and didn't make it back to Plant City until 1974. Never got to see him again, but not because I didn't try.

Rest easy, Ricky. You were my very first BEST FRIEND.

James K Stinson. MMCS/SS USN (ret)
Best friends

July 27, 2022

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