Officer Earl Harwood Scott

Officer Earl Harwood Scott

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch Friday, February 17, 2006

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Earl Harwood Scott

Officer Earl Scott was shot and killed while making a traffic stop on Highway 99 in Stanislaus County at approximately 0440 hours.

Officer Scott stopped a vehicle that he had observed speeding on northbound Highway 99, just south of Hammett Avenue. Officer Scott approached the vehicle and obtained the registration card from the driver. As Officer Scott walked back to his patrol car the suspect opened fire, fatally shooting him in the head.

A passing motorist, who was also heading north, saw the officer falling to the ground and the suspect's car speeding away. The witness exited the freeway and turned around, returning to the scene where he called authorities on a cell phone. When backup officers arrived they were able to identify the suspect's car by the registration that was still in Officer Scott's hand.

The officers were able to find the suspect by identifying the car. He was arrested and charged with murder, although he claimed that his car was stolen and he hadn't committed the crime. The suspect has an extensive criminal record, including arrests for robbery and assaulting a police officer. In August 2010 he plead guilty to Officer Scott's murder and was convicted and sentenced to life in prison plus three years without the possibility of parole; he cannot appeal this conviction as part of the plea agreement.

Officer Scott had served with the California Highway Patrol for 5 years. He is survived by his father, stepmother, and sister. His father and two uncles are all retired as sergeants from the California Highway Patrol. One of Officer Scott's cousins currently serves as a sergeant with the agency.


  • Age 36
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge 16386

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life plus three years

Most Recent Reflection

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Earl, I met you on a turnaround by the bridge on graves, you were working on patrol and I was on OT, We exchanged pleasantries and as always, we would always say to whoever pushed black and white, be safe as we parted. The most distinctive thing I remember was your smile. Rest in Peace Brother.

335 590

February 19, 2021

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