Police Officer Wilbert J. Downey

Police Officer Wilbert J. Downey

University City Police Department, Missouri

End of Watch Friday, December 12, 1969

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Wilbert J. Downey

Officer Wilbert Downey was shot and killed at the scene of a gas station robbery.

Officer Downey interrupted five men attempting a gas-station robbery. When Officer Downey entered the gas-station he tried to subdue the suspect armed with a 22 caliber weapon. The suspect shot Officer Downey once before gaining control of Officer Downey's service weapon, and then killed Officer Downey.

The shooting suspect was apprehended the next day in St. Louis and charged with murder. He was sentenced to the death penalty, however the sentence was appealed and overturned. The other four suspects were apprehended and sentenced to time in prison.

Officer Downey was survived by his wife, son, and daughter.


  • Age 34
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge 39

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Apprehended

Most Recent Reflection

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Will was married to my sister, Marlene, who died a few years later in an automobile accident. The orphaned children, James and Celeste, were raised by my sister, Marsha and her husband. In spite of all the trauma in their early lives, the children have become fine human beings. Unfortunately, Will and Marlene never got to see them grow up, nor did they have the joy of knowing their beautiful granddaughter. Will, you protected all of us by confronting those violent criminals, but it cost you and your family so much. We will always love and miss you.

Sister-in-law, Marion

February 25, 2017

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