Trooper John S. Burke

Trooper John S. Burke

Michigan State Police, Michigan

End of Watch Monday, October 13, 1930

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John S. Burke

Trooper Burke was shot and killed after stopping two bank robbers in St. Joseph County. He had been notified of the robbery and stopped the men on a county road. While he searched one of the suspects the second suspect shot him in the back three times. The suspects then drove over his body before fleeing.

Both suspects, 28 and 30, were apprehended four hours later just across the state line in Indiana. Six hours later both were convicted of Trooper Burke's murder. Four days later both were in the state penitentiary serving a life sentence. The next day it was discovered that the one who fired the fatal shot had gone AWOL from the army in 1921. The other inmate had escaped from the Ohio Penitentiary in 1926 a few days after he was sentenced to 2 to 15 years for breaking and entering. In 1933 he was adjudged insane and committed in the state mental hospital for the criminally insane at Ionia. In 1948 the other suspect was awarded a new trial, convicted of second degree murder, and sentenced to 7 to 15 years.


  • Age 23
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

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

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace Trooper Burke. Young and heroic!

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

March 23, 2019

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