Patrolman Peter John "Sonny" Burke

Patrolman Peter John "Sonny" Burke

Atlantic City Police Department, New Jersey

End of Watch Thursday, October 1, 1970

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Peter John "Sonny" Burke

Patrolman Peter Burke was shot and killed after being flagged down by a business owner regarding two suspicious males at 1145 pm on Illinois Avenue in Atlantic City.

As he approached the men, one of them opened fire with a sawed-off shotgun, fatally wounding him.

One suspect was immediately arrested and ultimately acquitted. The second suspect, a member of the Black Panther Party, fled to Cuba but returned to the U.S. and was arrested in Miami, Florida, on September, 26, 1990. He was sentenced to life for the murder and four years for unlawful flight. His parole was denied on December 30, 2005. As of April 6, 2023, he was in prison.

Patrolman Burke was one of the first officers to sign-up for the K-9 force when it was established. He and his K9 Thor made the first K( arrest in the department's history. K9 Thor was in the patrol wagon when he was shot.

Patrolman Burke was a United States Navy Korean and Vietnam veteran and had served with the Atlantic City Police Department for 15 months. He is survived by his wife, three brothers, and five sisters.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 1 year, 3 months
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

suspicious person

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Rest in Peace my 1st cousin 1x removed.

Thomas Wolfgang Maguire

September 14, 2022

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