Trooper Robert E. Coyle

Trooper Robert E. Coyle

New Jersey State Police, New Jersey

End of Watch Thursday, December 18, 1924

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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.

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, 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 was a United States Army WWI veteran who had served with the New Jersey State Police for eight months and previously served with the Pennsylvania State Police. 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 Executed

escape attempt, robbery, transport

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Rest in peace.


January 16, 2023

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