Police Officer Gene A. Clifton

Police Officer Gene A. Clifton

Palo Alto Police Department, California

End of Watch Friday, November 19, 1971

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Gene A. Clifton

Officer Gene Clifton died as a result of a gunshot wound received on October 1, 1971.

Officer Clifton was fatally wounded during a joint operation with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and the Palo Alto Police Department. A team of officers were attempting to execute a search warrant at a residence. The officers were already inside the residence when a suspect fired shots at the officers and ran into a bedroom. Officer Clifton was standing outside the bedroom when the suspect continued shooting, and a bullet went through the wall and struck him in the abdomen. Another Palo Alto officer shot and seriously wounded the suspect.

The autopsy report listed the cause of death as undetermined, so the suspect, 36, was not charged with murder. On April 27, 1972, he was convicted of four counts of assault with a deadly weapon, a felon in possession of a firearm, and sentenced to 6 to 15 years.

Officer Clifton had served with the Palo Alto Police Department for four years. He is survived by his wife, parents, and two sisters.


  • Age 27
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge 47

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Friday, October 1, 1971
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 15 years

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Clifton,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Palo Alto. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

November 19, 2021

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