Detective Norman R. Eckles

Detective Norman R. Eckles

Los Angeles Police Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, April 20, 1989

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Norman R. Eckles

Detective Norman Eckles was shot while serving a narcotics search warrant in South Central Los Angeles.

Detective Eckles and another officer, identifying themselves as police officers, tried to enter the suspect's apartment in a surprise predawn raid. While his partner tried to force the door open, Detective Eckles broke a window as a diversionary tactic. Though Detective Eckles was wearing a bulletproof vest, he was shot. The bullet entered from the side, beneath his right armpit and lodged in his spine. The wound immobilized him from the chest down, forcing him to take a disability retirement. He died about five and a half years later from acute and chronic infections from the bullet wound he'd suffered.

Detective Eckles remained active in law enforcement, frequently testifying from his wheelchair as an expert on narcotics cases. He also served as a police consultant, lecturing officers on safety and survival.

The suspect was convicted in 1985 of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter, one count of assault with a firearm, and sentenced to 22 years.

Detective Eckles had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for just under 19 years. He is survived by his wife, son, two daughters, and three grandchildren.

Bio

  • Age 42
  • Tour 19 years
  • Badge 16032

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, December 1, 1983
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Convicted

Most Recent Reflection

View all 18 Reflections

Just seeing this for the first time and profoundly moved with emotion. I didn’t know Norm before he was wounded but, I knew him afterwards. He was a devout Christian and loved the Lord. I distinctly remember him saying that if he had not known God when this happened that he would have never survived the aftermath. He made such an impression on me to “press on no matter what the circumstances” and I carry that with me even to this day for his words are a great encouragement in the strength of Christ. Phil 4:10-13. Norm and Cindy both are/were extraordinary people for law enforcement is a way of life and a great partner is invaluable. What else can I say but we loved Norm, he was so dedicated in many ways and I am deeply thankful for this amazing man. He baptized both my sister and I in his backyard! Wow! Right?! And I still have the Bible that he and Cindy gave me all these years later (2020). Lord knows it’s been the most remarkable journey to say the least. All this to say Norm was such a super man of faith and among all things that he did, I genuinely believe he would say “trusting God” was the best one. With deepest respect and honor we remember Norm, for he was such an incredible man and definitely made the world a better place.

Catherine Moon (Gonzales)
Family Friend

January 13, 2020

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