Patrolman David L. Coker

Patrolman David L. Coker

New Mexico State Police, New Mexico

End of Watch Sunday, November 18, 1979

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David L. Coker

Patrolman David Coker was shot and killed during a traffic stop on I-40 five miles west of Santa Rosa.

The driver immediately exited his car and approached Patrolman Coker's patrol car, where he produced a .38 caliber handgun. He ordered Patrolman Coker to empty his service revolver on the passenger seat. He then had him walk down an embankment on the side of the road.

As Patrolman Coker took off his coat he retrieved his backup weapon from a holster sewn into the coat. Both he and the man fired at the same time. Patrolman Coker's shot struck the subject in the chest, but the man's shot struck Patrolman Coker in face, killing him instantly. The man stumbled back to the patrol car where he collapsed and dropped his weapon. A passerby kicked the handgun away and detained the man, who later died.

Patrolman Coker had served with the New Mexico State Police for four years.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed

traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Coker,
On today, the 40th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of New Mexico. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

November 18, 2019

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