Patrolman Alva H. Burnett

Patrolman Alva H. Burnett

Pierre Police Department, South Dakota

End of Watch Sunday, June 11, 1944

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Alva H. Burnett

Patrolman Alva Burnett was shot and killed around 6 p.m. after responding to a domestic disturbance for the second time in one day at a home on West Sioux Avenue near Charles Street.

Prior to the second call, the suspect had doused his wife with gasoline and lit her on fire. Patrolman Burnett was attempting to talk to the suspect, who was standing in the doorway of the couple's home, when the man suddenly raised his 410-gauge shotgun and shot Patrolman Burnett.

The suspect was killed at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Patrolman Burnett had served with the department for two years.


  • Age 54
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun; 410 gauge
  • Offender Deceased


Most Recent Reflection

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My late father mourned for Officer Burnett for many years. Officer Burnett worked night shift, and befriended my dad as he was a boy delivering the products of his father's bakery to restaurants and homes during the very early morning. Dad said Officer Burnett always had a kind word for him, even just in passing, so Dad was devastated to learn about the shooting death as he was on his delivery route one morning.
Dad told me about this when I made my decision as a young woman to enter law enforcement, expressing his fear that I could meet a similar end, but he always supported my career choice. He did ask me to be aware of how a smile and kind word from a n officer to a lonely kid could make a day better. I have tried to do so in Officer Burnett's memory.

Patrol Officer M. Dorn, Retired

April 5, 2018

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