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 at 3:00 am.

Detective Christoper was at the Star Grill at 472 Frankin Avenue, Mount Vernon, when a man armed with a 12-gauge shotgun entered the location and 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 apprehend 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, he 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 was a United States Marine Corps veteran and had served with the Mount Vernon Police Department for ten years. He was survived by his wife.


  • Age 39
  • Tour 10 years
  • Badge 36
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun; 12 gauge
  • Offender Sentenced 20 years to life

off duty, robbery in progress

Most Recent Reflection

View all 17 Reflections

Det. Christopher,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death 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. 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)

June 24, 2024

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