Trooper Robert E. Coyle

Trooper Robert E. Coyle

New Jersey State Police, New Jersey

End of Watch Thursday, December 18, 1924

Robert E. Coyle

Trooper Robert Coyle was shot and killed in Somerset County as he and another trooper escorted a payroll robbery suspect to the Pluckemin Substation for questioning.

Troopers Coyle and his partner were escorting a payroll robbery suspect to the Pluckemin Substation for questioning. The two troopers sat in the front seat, leaving the suspect unattended in the back seat. While driving along the highway near Chimney Rock, adjacent to Bound Brook in Somerset County, the suspect suddenly shouted: “Hands Up!”

Trooper Coyle, who was riding in the passenger seat, turned and drew his service weapon. The suspect fired a blank directly into Trooper Coyle’s face. The prisoner then wrestled Trooper Coyle’s revolver from him and fired two shots into his back. Trooper Coyle died immediately. The suspect was able to disarm the other trooper and escaped, sparking a massive manhunt. He was later apprehended, confessed to the crime and executed.

Trooper Coyle had served with the New Jersey State Police for eight months. He had previously served with the Pennsylvania State Police and the United States Army. He was survived by his wife, parents, sister, and two brothers.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 8 months
  • Badge 238
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Not available

escape attempt, robbery, transport

Most Recent Reflection

View all 9 Reflections

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 87th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

December 18, 2011

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