Patrolman Dale Dewain Claxton

Patrolman Dale Dewain Claxton

Cortez Police Department, Colorado

End of Watch Friday, May 29, 1998

Add to My Heroes

Dale Dewain Claxton

Patrolman Dale Claxton was shot 18 times and killed after stopping a tanker truck that had been stolen. Before Patrolman Claxton exited his patrol car one of the three suspects in the vehicle opened fire on him with a fully automatic rifle, striking him 18 times.

The suspects then fled but were pursued by other officers. During an intense gun battle, two deputies from the Montezuma County Sheriff's Department were shot and wounded. The suspects stole another pickup truck before escaping into a canyon-filled portion of the state.

The National Guard and over 500 officers from four states assisted in the search for the suspects. One of the suspects was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head in early June 1998 after wounding a San Juan County sheriff's deputy. A second suspect's skeletal remains were found in November 1999. The third suspect's remains were found in Utah in June 2007.

Patrolman Claxton had served with the Cortez Police Department for 3 years. He is survived by his wife, four children, and a granddaughter, and is buried in Cortez Cemetery, Cortez, Montezuma County, Colorado.

One of his sons later became a police officer with the Cortez Police Department, and the badge number Lobo 11 was retired permanently.


  • Age 45
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Lobo 11

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; Semi-automatic
  • Offender Deceased

stolen vehicle, traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

View all 67 Reflections

rest in Peace Brother.

Sergeant Matthew Troy Moreno

June 2, 2022

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.