Police Officer James Albert Chew

Police Officer James Albert Chew

Steamboat Springs Police Department, Colorado

End of Watch Friday, July 28, 1972

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James Albert Chew

Officer Chew was shot and killed by an escapee from a Washington state prison. The suspect had been the focus of a manhunt in the area for several days but had not been located. Several hours after the search was called off Officer Chew was advised that a car had just been stolen outside of the town limits and was headed into Steamboat Springs.

When Officer Chew located the vehicle the suspect sped away. Officer Chew chased the man into a residential area where the suspect bailed out of the vehicle. Officer Chew immediately confronted the suspect and held him at gunpoint.

As Officer Chew's closest backup responded from approximately 20 miles away, the suspect asked if he could take off a heavy coat he was wearing because he was hot. When Officer Chew permitted him to do so, the suspect threw the coat over Officer Chew's head and attacked him, striking him on the head with a .44 caliber handgun he had found in the stolen car. The suspect then opened fire on Officer Chew, striking him several times.

A reserve deputy who lived nearby happened to hear the radio traffic responded to the scene to offer his assistance. When he arrived at the scene he could not locate Officer Chew but observed an unidentified man standing nearby. The deputy held the suspect at gunpoint until another officer arrived and located Office Chew, who died a short time later.

The suspect was found guilty by reason of insanity and committed to a state hospital.

Officer Chew had served with the agency for 4 years.


  • Age 34
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge 2

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .44 caliber
  • Offender Committed

Most Recent Reflection

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Dear Commander Jerry Stabile

I would like to thank you so much for keeping my DADS image alive. It would be our honor to receive the etching from the Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington D.C. My sister was diagnosed with cancer this past year. I feel she would love this.

Please express my appreciation to the Officer for getting the etching for the family.

Cindy Chew Coble

June 4, 2016

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