Patrolman Timothy Andrew Nielson

Patrolman Timothy Andrew Nielson

Joplin Police Department, Missouri

End of Watch Monday, September 13, 2004

Add to My Heroes

Timothy Andrew Nielson

Patrolman Nielson succumbed to injuries sustained one month earlier when a house exploded as a result of being filled with natural gas.

Patrolman Nielson and another officer had responded to the residence to investigate reports of a suicidal man. When the officers arrived, they located the man in the backyard, but he suddenly ran into the house. The officers followed him into the house and were inside for several minutes when the house suddenly exploded.

Patrolman Nielson sustained burns to 45% of his body and was partially trapped in the wreckage of the home. The other officer sustained burns to 30% of his body and remained in critical condition for several weeks.

Investigation revealed that, prior to the arrival of the officers, the suspect had disconnected the natural gas line from his stove and turned the valve on to its highest setting. The house filled with gas while the man was outside. After the officers chased the man into the home, one of the officers fired a taser at the man. The spark from the taser may have caused the gas to ignite, resulting in the explosion. The suspect the officers were attempted to arrest was taken into custody.

Patrolman Nielson had served with the Joplin Police Department for 4 years. He is survived by his wife, two children, parents, and siblings.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Explosion
  • Incident Date Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Most Recent Reflection

View all 134 Reflections

tim, i was young when we met, but old enough to understand. you were my youth minister at McKinley Ave Baptist church. you taught me to love god, and helped teach me right from wrong. i looked up to you as a child, and as i matured and grew i tried my best to live life the way you did. we all miss you tim. me, joseph, and seth. i know you are keeping watch on all of us from heaven. thank you for your service tim. my thoughts and prayers are always with tracy and your daughter. god bless you tim.

Professional Security Officer Nathan Ada
Allied Universal Security Services

May 15, 2018

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.