Patrolman Thomas Ray Carpenter

Patrolman Thomas Ray Carpenter

Colorado State Patrol, Colorado

End of Watch Thursday, December 27, 1973

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Thomas Ray Carpenter

Patrolman Thomas Carpenter was shot and killed with his own weapon after being abducted while on patrol.

He had stopped a vehicle at Broadway and U.S. 36, in Denver, and became engaged in a struggle with the driver. The suspect gained control of Patrolman Carpenter's handgun and forced him to drive to another location. At approximately 10:00 am, Patrolman Carpenter radioed in his position as being on I-70, at Havana Street, which was out of his assigned area.

He was found a short time later in his patrol car in Montbello with four gunshot wounds in his back. The suspect had shot him from the back seat of the patrol car as he sat in the driver's seat.

The two prime suspects were shot and killed in an unrelated event several years later. No suspects have ever been apprehended in connection with Patrolman Carpenter's death.

Patrolman Carpenter had served with the Colorado State Patrol for over five years. He is survived by his wife, daughter, and two sons.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge 208

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Case never solved

abducted, traffic stop

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Trooper memorialized 44 years after his murder
Sonia Gutierrez, 9News KUSA 6:08 PM. MST December 30, 2017

DENVER - A Colorado trooper is now being honored, 44 years after his death.

On December 27, 1973, trooper Thomas Ray Carpenter stopped by the Boulder Turnpike to help what looked to be a broken down car with two men inside.

Somehow, the men got ahold of his gun, forced him back in his patrol car and made him drive around at gunpoint.

Trooper Carpenter was later found dead. His killers, have never been found.

STORY | Murder of CSP Trooper still unsolved after 40 years

Saturday, his family, friends and the Colorado State Patrol dedicated that same stretch of highway in his honor.

They unveiled a sign that read, "in memory of state trooper Thomas Carpenter." Underneath is a plaque signed by his family, friends and colleagues.

Carpenter's death is still one of Colorado's longest running unsolved crimes.

Police Officer-retired
NYC Police Department

December 31, 2017

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