Police Officer Robert W. Blan

Police Officer Robert W. Blan

Oakland Police Department, California

End of Watch Wednesday, May 23, 1973

Robert W. Blan

Officer Robert Blan was shot and killed with his own weapon during a traffic stop.

During the stop, he requested backup but became engaged in a struggle before the officers arrived. During the struggle, the suspect gained control of Officer Blan's revolver and shot him three times. When his backup officers arrived, they found Officer Blan unconscious. The suspects suddenly returned to the scene and attempted to run down the other officers, who opened fire. All of the suspects were apprehended.

The gunman was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to 12 years to life on December 13, 1973, but was released after serving only six years of his sentence.

Officer Blan had been a member of the Oakland Police Department for two years and had previously served with the Military Police of the United States Army. He is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.


  • Age 24
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge 886
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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I was shot the same night as Officer Blan, just a few short miles away in Berkeley. I vividly recall being told of his death that morning as I awoke following surgery. Joe Thomas, who posted below was my neighbor and related the details of his death. I still live with the horror of that night and sometimes think about Officer Blan and wonder how I survived but he did not.

RIP Brother Blan

Terry Dail
Berkeley PD - Retired

May 5, 2017

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