Police Officer Dennis Charles Doty

Police Officer Dennis Charles Doty

Riverside Police Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, May 13, 1982

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Dennis Charles Doty

Officer Dennis Doty and Officer Philip Trust were shot and killed while serving a warrant at a home. They were attempting to arrest a handicapped man who was sitting naked on a bed. As they helped him get dressed, the suspect pulled out a handgun and shot both officers. The suspect had been sitting on the gun. Officer Trust was able to return fire and struck the suspect in the hand.

The round remained in the suspect's hand and was a crucial piece of evidence in the ensuing trial. The suspect, who had been paralyzed from the waist down two years earlier in a shootout with a Riverside police officer, was found guilty of their murders and sentenced to death. It is believed that the motive of the shooting was revenge over the previous shooting.

In 2005 a judge overturned the suspect's death sentence on claims by the defense that the suspect suffered from schizophrenia. He was retried and again sentenced to death January 28, 2010.

Officer Doty was a U.S. Army Veteran of Vietnam and was the recipient of a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. He had served with the Riverside Police Department for 10 years.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 10 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to death

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Officer Doty
Thanks for your sacrifice and your outstanding service to this great nation, your city and state. Your Viet Nam service speaks for itself. I too am an Army vet. Men like you make this country what it is today. You honor our profession of law enforcement--your distinguished and exceptional Army service in combat is also greatly appreciated.

James Lopey, Asst. Sheriff (Ret)
Washoe County Sheriff's Office (Reno) & NVDPS

May 13, 2020

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