Sergeant Daniel Robert Starnes

Sergeant Daniel Robert Starnes

Morgan County Sheriff's Office, Indiana

End of Watch Tuesday, July 10, 2001

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Daniel Robert Starnes

Sergeant Daniel Starnes succumbed to gunshot wounds suffered one month earlier when he was involved in a shootout during a traffic stop.

Sergeant Starnes, the agency's warrant officer, had stopped a suspect who had an outstanding warrant at Shelton Road and Wilbur Road. While Sergeant Starnes and the driver were outside of their vehicles, shots were exchanged, and Sergeant Starnes was struck in the chest four times by the suspect's .45-caliber handgun. Sergeant Starnes was not wearing a bullet-resistant vest at the time.

The suspect then turned and fired into the patrol car, striking Sergeant Starnes' son, who was participating in a ride-along for a college project. Sergeant Starnes was able to return fire, striking the suspect seven times and wounding him. The son was then able to retrieve the service shotgun from the trunk of the patrol car, and he held the suspect at gunpoint until other units arrived. The incident happened only 15 minutes after Sergeant Starnes reported for duty and was within eyesight of his home. Sergeant Starnes died from his wounds one month later due to complications from an infection at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

The subject was arrested, convicted of murder, and subsequently sentenced to death. On June 2nd, 2015, a federal appeals court overturned the death sentence because the subject claimed to be mentally ill.

Sergeant Starnes had served with the Morgan County Sheriff's Department for five years. He was survived by his wife and two sons, both of whom served with the Indiana State Police as troopers, having graduated from the 59th and 65th ISP Recruit Academies.


  • Age 46
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge 55-22

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, June 14, 2001
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Death sentence overturned

no vest, traffic stop, warrant

Most Recent Reflection

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Your actions that day are beyond the word heroic. God Bless your sons and be with them always on their tours of duty to prevent them from the evil that lurks out there. Thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice is one that will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

July 10, 2020

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