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

Most Recent Reflection

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I went through the CSP academy with Tom Carpenter. His death brought out a number of issues in the way State Patrol officers handled traffic stops.

Russ Locke, Retired (but not from CSP)
CSP Class of 1968

February 7, 2021

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