Sergeant Joseph Dan Adams

Sergeant Joseph Dan Adams

Lehi Police Department, Utah

End of Watch Saturday, August 4, 2001

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Joseph Dan Adams

Sergeant Joseph Adams was shot and killed during a traffic stop of a DUI suspect at approximately 11:00 pm at 2100 North 1200 West.

He was working a special four-hour DUI enforcement assignment when he stopped a suspected drunk driver. Officer Adams was attempting to arrest the man after the man failed several field sobriety tests.

He had handcuffed one of the man's wrists when the subject suddenly pulled out a small-caliber handgun and fired a shot over his shoulder, striking Sergeant Adams. As Sergeant Adams fell to the ground he was able to draw his weapon and return fire, striking the man twice and critically wounding him. The man was able to return to his vehicle and flee. After the shooting, a passenger in the suspect's vehicle exited the car and attempted to offer medical assistance to Sergeant Adams as the suspect fled. The person also called 911 to get assistance for Sergeant Adams.

Sergeant Adams was flown to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds shortly after midnight.

The suspect was convicted of Sergeant Adams' murder in 2002 and sentenced to life without parole.

Sergeant Adams was a Utah National Guard veteran and had served with the Lehi Police Department for four years. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He was survived by his wife and 7-month-old son.

In August 2011, Lehi's North Entrance Park was renamed Joseph D. Adams Memorial Park in his honor.

Bio

  • Age 26
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge 8J13
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Friday, August 3, 2001
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

arrest attempt, DUI, traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

View all 354 Reflections

I thought about Officer Adams during my Blue Courage class today. Although I did not really know him, he and I were in Germany as missionaries at the same time during the mid-1990’s. Later, I was pursuing a career in law enforcement when I received a phone call from a mutual friend advising me that Joe Adams had been killed. I learned he had left behind a wife and a small child. It was an early lesson about the heartache that can often accompany this career. These days, I regularly travel through Lehi to bring my children to college. I always think about Officer Adams’ sacrifice, and am grateful for him and his family.

Captain Todd Baeten
Wausau Police Department

August 12, 2021

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