Police Officer Russell Travis "Rusty" Stalnaker

Police Officer Russell Travis "Rusty" Stalnaker

Atlanta Police Department, Georgia

End of Watch Wednesday, March 31, 1999

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Russell Travis "Rusty" Stalnaker

Police Officer Rusty Stalnaker was shot and killed while struggling with a suspect on Peachtree Street, near Pine Street.

Officers had stopped the suspect after observing him pushing a truck down a street. While talking with him, a struggle ensued and officers wrestled him to the ground and attempted to handcuff him. During the struggle, the suspect pulled out a handgun and shot Officer Stalnaker.

The suspect was shot and wounded by other officers, but was able to flee in a nearby patrol car and crashed approximately a block away. He attempted to steal another vehicle from a woman in front of a church, but the woman thwarted his efforts by screaming. The suspect then ran into the church and was subdued by the pastor who was giving an evening service. On May 2nd, 2001, the suspect plead guilty and was sentenced to life without parole.

Officer Stalnaker had served with the Atlanta Police Department for three years and was assigned to Zone 5. He is survived by his wife.


  • Age 24
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge 4853

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

suspicious person

Most Recent Reflection

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Happy Birthday, Rusty! I visited your grave last week with my daughter. My children know you well, just as they would have if that night in March hadn't happened.


December 8, 2021

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