Trooper Ronald J. Donahue

Trooper Ronald J. Donahue

New York State Police, New York

End of Watch Saturday, May 23, 1959

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Ronald J. Donahue

Trooper Donahue was shot and killed after he and his partner attempted to arrest a group of men who were creating a disturbance outside the courthouse. Trooper Donahue and his partner had arrested a suspect earlier in the day and brought him in front of a judge for arraignment. After the arraignment the suspect's friends created a disturbance outside of the courthouse. When Trooper Donahue and his partner attempted to arrest the men a struggle ensued and one of the suspects gained control of Trooper Donahue's gun. The suspect shot and wounded Trooper Donahue's partner and shot and killed Trooper Donahue. Trooper Donahue's partner was able to return fire and wound the suspect, who was then taken into custody.

The suspect was convicted of manslaughter on June 24, 1960. He received a suspended sentence and was placed on probation for five years. The Association of Former New York State Troopers charged that Franklin County court officials had grossly mishandled the case. The general public was outraged.


  • Age 23
  • Tour 11 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 5 years probation

Most Recent Reflection

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Trooper Donahue,
On today, the 60th 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 York. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol
El Paso Station

May 23, 2019

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