Police Officer Donald Olson Kimbrough

Police Officer Donald Olson Kimbrough

Detroit Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Thursday, December 7, 2017

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Donald Olson Kimbrough

Police Officer Donald Kimbrough succumbed to complications of gunshot wounds sustained on August 25th, 1972, while responding to a robbery.

He and his partner, both in plain clothes, were in the area of a methadone clinic when they were informed that two men were shooting at people in the parking lot at the intersection of Belmont Street and Woodward Avenue. As the officers arrived on scene they confronted one of the armed subjects walking from an alley to a car that had just pulled into an adjacent parking lot.

The man complied, but a second subject sitting in the vehicle's driver's seat opened fire with a handgun, striking Officer Kimbrough in the chest. The first subject then picked up the shotgun and fired at Officer Kimbrough's partner. Both officers returned fire as the suspects fled in the car.

Officer Kimbrough was transported to Henry Ford Hospital where it was determined that the bullet had lodged against his spine, causing him paralysis from the waist down. Although confined to a wheelchair, he was able to return to limited duty until being medically retired in 1977. His health continued to deteriorate, and he died of complications of the original gunshot wound on December 7th, 2017.

The two suspects involved in the shooting were never identified and the case remains open.

Officer Kimbrough was a U.S. Air Force veteran and had served with the Detroit Police Department for a total of seven years before medically retiring. He is survived by his son.


  • Age 71
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge 2257
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Friday, August 25, 1972
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender At large

plainclothes, robbery, shots fired call

Most Recent Reflection

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My name is Ayubu Tellis, I am 23 years old and I'm from Detroit Michigan. I am writing to Officer Donald Kimbrough and his family, he is my silent partner who I will carry for the rest of my career. I too, am also a veteran, but of the United States Marine Corps. I sent my condolences to your family. I admire your bravery and courage for taking that step to becoming a Detroit Police officer, but also standing up for police brutality. May your soul rest in peace for you deserve it. May god watch over your grateful family and keep them protected. I will do all that I can in the memory of Officer Kimbrough, to honor him.

Student Police Officer
Detroit Police Training Center

May 12, 2024

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