Detective Corporal John Robert Christian, Jr.

Detective Corporal John Robert Christian, Jr.

Harrisburg Police Bureau, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Tuesday, April 18, 1978

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John Robert Christian, Jr.

Detective Corporal John Christian was shot and killed while moonlighting as a uniformed security officer at a Beer Distributor at 8:30 pm. He was informed of a robbery in progress in the Beer Distributors grocery store area and was shot and killed as he approached the robbery suspects outside as they were leaving the store. He was taken to Harrisburg Hospital where he died of his wounds three hours later.

The 33-year-old suspect was apprehended in Trenton, New Jersey three days later. When Trenton and Harrisburg police officers raided his girlfriend's apartment they shot and seriously wounded him when he opened fire on them. The suspect was found guilty of First Degree Murder, four armed robberies, and sentenced to life plus four 10 to 20 year terms.

Detective Corporal Christian was a U.S Marine Corps veteran and had served with the Harrisburg Police Bureau for 12 years. He is survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 11 years, 6 months
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life

off duty, robbery attempt, secondary employment

Most Recent Reflection

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Det. Cpl. Christian,
Sir, I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served with the USMC during the Vietnam War. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Semper Fi Devil Dog!

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol(Retired)

May 19, 2024

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