Officer Martin I. Donovan

Officer Martin I. Donovan

Metropolitan Police Department, District of Columbia

End of Watch Thursday, July 9, 1964

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Martin I. Donovan

Officer Martin Donovan was shot and killed when a mentally disturbed man attacked him without provocation.

He was on foot patrol on 14th Street, NW, just south of Thomas Circle, when the man tackled him and gained control of his weapon. The subject claimed the reason he attacked Officer Donovan was because the police uniform "bugged" him.

Officer Donovan was a U.S. Army Military Police veteran and had served with the Metropolitan Police Department for four years. He is survived by his wife, child, four brothers, and four sisters.

He is buried at Arlington Cemetary.


  • Age 28
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Apprehended

EDP, foot patrol

Most Recent Reflection

View all 21 Reflections

I never knew Officer Donovan however his family, which had already lost another son, became my family's neighbors within a year or so after the officer's passing. I came to know Officer Donovan's parents, one of his surviving brothers, and three of his four sisters. The Donovans were a lovely family and we thought extremely highly of them as did everyone who knew them. Tragedies of this sort should not befall anyone and I think not only of Officer Donovan but of his family members who I knew frequently.

Gene Dodd
Friend of family

August 8, 2023

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