Trooper Ronald J. Donahue

Trooper Ronald J. Donahue

New York State Police, New York

End of Watch Saturday, May 23, 1959

Add to My Heroes

Ronald J. Donahue

Trooper Ronald Donahue was shot and killed after he and his partner attempted to arrest a group of men who were creating a disturbance outside the Justice of The Peace office near Bombay.

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 the office. 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.

Trooper Donahue was a United States Marine Corps veteran who had served 11 months with the New York State Police and was assigned to Troop B at Massena. He was survived by his wife, parents, one brother, and two sisters.


  • Age 23
  • Tour 11 months
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

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

attending court, disturbance, retaliation

Most Recent Reflection

View all 27 Reflections

After 64 years with a need for closure on Trooper Ronald John Donahue, my big brother’s death, I have finally heard the truth. I thank the NYS assistant Superintendent to the BCI, Colonel James Barnes, for the time he spent with me and my husband with the facts on Ron’s death. May he realize how grateful I am to finally have closure and May God protect him everyday in his position.

Patricia Donahue Vallejo

August 1, 2023

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.