Deputy Sheriff Denny Van Lawrence

Deputy Sheriff Denny Van Lawrence

Elko County Sheriff's Office, Nevada

End of Watch Tuesday, January 17, 2012

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Denny Van Lawrence

Deputy Sheriff Denny Lawrence succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained 30 years earlier while investigating a minor traffic accident on US 93 south of Jackpot, Nevada.

Unbeknownst to Deputy Lawrence, the suspect had just been released from the California Department of Corrections. Upon his release, he went to his former cellmate's home where he murdered two people and stole their car. Several campers in the area were helping the man stay warm as they waited for an officer to respond to the accident.

As Deputy Lawrence began to run the man's driver license, the man approached him and suddenly shot him once in the forehead with a .22 caliber handgun. He then fired again, but missed, before taking Deputy Lawrence's service revolver. Two armed citizens then shot and killed the subject as he opened fire on bystanders in an attempt to steal a vehicle to escape.

Deputy Lawrence remained in a coma for several days. He suffered severe brain damage and remained completely disabled in an assisted living home until passing away from medical complications of the wound.

Deputy Lawrence was a U.S. Navy veteran and had served in law enforcement for a total of 26 years before he was shot. He is survived by his three sons and a daughter.


  • Age 77
  • Tour 26 years
  • Badge 228
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, June 26, 1982
  • Weapon Handgun; .22 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed

accident investigation, convicted felon

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As a member of the team your sacrifice will not be forgotten! Your legacy hangs visible for all to see and admire.

Rest Easy! You have made a lasting contribution in the battle!



January 17, 2023

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