Investigator Joseph Thomas Aversa

Investigator Joseph Thomas Aversa

New York State Police, New York

End of Watch Monday, March 5, 1990

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Joseph Thomas Aversa

Investigator Joseph Aversa was accidentally shot and killed while conducting an undercover drug deal.

Investigator Aversa was conducting surveillance of undercover negotiations during a cocaine investigation when the drug dealers fired at the undercover officer. Investigator Aversa led other task force members to the scene and was fatally wounded by another officer during an exchange of gunfire with the two drug traffickers. Two other task force members were injured in this incident. One of the suspects was shot and wounded and both were taken into custody at the scene. It was later determined that Investigator Aversa was accidentally shot by another officer.

The trial judge ruled that Investigator Aversa's death was a direct result of the actions of the suspects. Both were convicted of second-degree murder, attempted murder, and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. One was sentenced to 45 years to life and the other to 39 years to life.

Investigator Aversa had served with the New York State Police for six years and is survived by his wife. His wife became a State Trooper in 1994 and was assigned his shield number. His father is a retired New York City police officer.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge 2345

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)

Most Recent Reflection

View all 45 Reflections

I don’t have a clue why I thought of Joe at this time of night (2:00 am). For some reason he just entered my head.
Joe and I were friends in High School 48 years ago. We graduated in 1976 and through the years I can remember me as someone who honestly spooked me at first. You see I came to the Port Jarvis NY High School from Montague NJ. When we entered 9th grade we went to the NY school. The first time I saw Joe he was walking down the hall with a friend of mine and when I said hi to her he kinda gave me a look of,,, move on,,,bud.
Not long later she told me that was Joe’s protection mode kicking in. He had been a friend of hers for a very long time and lived right up the road from her. It was not long at all before Joe and I were friends and I could then see that in him.
He was passionate about people, about things that could possibly hurt people, but at the same time he loved life and wasn’t always serious.
When Joe was murdered I was living in California so I did not hear of what happened for a few years. The way I found out was by the same girl that Joe gave me the eye about. When I learned of this I could not believe it, could not believe he was gone. I had hoped to see him at our 20 yr reunion.
I will always remember you Joe, whenever I get the yearbook out I always look at your comments and still can’t believe you are gone.
Although I didn’t follow your endeavors after high school, from what I have been told and have read, you were the same ‘kid’ I remember in high school and someone I am VERY PROUD to be able to say he was my friend.
RIP Joe,, look me up when I join you soon. Always your friend.

David S Sperry Jr. HS friend
DOD -Pentagon

January 9, 2021

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