Officer Richard Allen May, Jr.

Officer Richard Allen May, Jr.

East Palo Alto Police Department, California

End of Watch Saturday, January 7, 2006

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Richard Allen May, Jr.

Officer Richard May was shot and killed when he responded to a disturbance call at the corner of University Avenue and Weeks Street at approximately 4:30 pm.

When he arrived, he observed several men fighting. As he approached the group, one of the men fled. As Officer May attempted to stop the man, the subject turned around and opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun. Despite being mortally wounded, Officer May was able to return fire and wounded the man in the leg.

The subject, who was a documented gang member, fled on foot but was apprehended later that night.

A 14-year-old law enforcement Explorer was participating in a ride-along with Officer May at the time of the incident but was not injured.

Officer May was a US Marine Corps veteran and had served with the East Palo Alto Police Department for 18 months. He had previously served for 13 years with the Lompoc Police Department. He is survived by his wife and three daughters.


  • Age 38
  • Tour 14 years, 6 months
  • Badge 33
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to death

fight call, gang member

Most Recent Reflection

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By complete happenstance I became aware of your tragic death a few days ago. I met your brother in law, who had your memorial picture on his office wall, and when the conversation turned to the Central Coast and I looked closer at your picture, sadly I knew it was you. I believe we were classmates at Allen Hancock Police Academy Class 45 in 1989. My career took me out of state so I was unaware of these terrible events until now. I am so very sorry for you and your family. Thank you for your service to your country and your community and Godspeed.

Corporal Sean Kearney
Carlsbad (CA) Police Department

June 28, 2020

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