Detective Bernard L. Christopher

Detective Bernard L. Christopher

Mount Vernon Police Department, New York

End of Watch Monday, June 24, 1974

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Bernard L. Christopher

Detective Bernard Christopher was shot and killed when he attempted to stop a robbery while off-duty.

Detective Christoper was at a local restaurant when a man armed with a 12-gauge shotgun entered the location an announced a robbery. Detective Christopher drew his revolver and exchanged gunfire with the suspect. Detective Christopher was struck in the chest and killed.

An off-duty Police Officer from the New York City Police Department, who was also in the restaurant pursued the suspect on foot and exchanged gunfire with him. That officer was slightly wounded and was unable to apprehended the suspect.

Three weeks later a 29-year-old drifter was arrested for stabbing a man to death in Harlem on May 13, 1974. A week later was charged with Detective Christopher's murder. On March 11, 1975, he was convicted of Detective Christopher's murder and sentenced to 20 years to life. He was also convicted of first degree robbery and sentenced to 20 years to life to run concurrently with his other sentence. He died in prison on December 2, 2003.

Detective Christopher had served with the Mount Vernon Police Department for ten years and was survived by his wife.


  • Age 39
  • Tour 10 years
  • Badge 36

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun; 12 gauge
  • Offender Died in prison

Most Recent Reflection

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Detective Christopher, your selfless actions that day are the true definition of duty before self. Thank you for your service and always know that your sacrifice is one that will never be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

June 24, 2020

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