Police Officer Robert R. Birdsall

Police Officer Robert R. Birdsall

Long Beach Police Department, California

End of Watch Tuesday, September 16, 1975

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Robert R. Birdsall

Police Officer Robert Birdsall was shot and killed while searching for a suspect wanted for armed robbery, kidnapping, and attempted murder.

He confronted the man near 23rd Street and Orange Avenue in the city of Signal Hill where the suspect shot and killed him. He was apprehended after exchanging several shots with other officers. Officer Birdsall was transported to St. Mary's Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The suspect was apprehended the next day.

The suspect, 24, an unemployed transient, was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death May 5th, 1976. His sentence was later commuted to life. He was denied parole on October 15, 1996.

Officer Birdsall served with the Long beach Police Department for 13 years. He was survived by his wife, three sons and a daughter. One of his sons became a Long Beach Police Officer. On October 15, 1996, he got to see his father's killer face to face for the first time and speak his peace to him and the parole board. His parole was denied.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 13 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace always and know that your service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

September 16, 2020

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