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 United States 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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I was an officer with the San Mateo police department and had a about two years on at the time of your murder. I was working that night, and I recall the feeling in my gut as we rushed to send a team of officers down to find the coward that shot you. Your funeral was my first Police funeral, and sadly, not my last. Yesterday, I visited your name on the wall at the law enforcement memorial in DC. God Bless you and your family, you are not forgotten.

Officer Genny Altwer, retired
San Mateo Police Department

February 22, 2023

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