Patrolman Richey O'Brian Finch

Patrolman Richey O'Brian Finch

Forest Acres Police Department, South Carolina

End of Watch Thursday, February 21, 1974

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Richey O'Brian Finch

Patrolman Richey Finch was shot and killed during a traffic stop. During the stop one of the occupants ran to the patrol car and opened fire, killing Patrolman Finch. After the shooting the three suspects fled and began to hitchhike on I-20.

Deputy Ernest Potter and his partner, of the Kershaw County Sheriff's Department, stopped the suspects several hours later when they observed them hitchhiking. As the deputies stepped out of their patrol car one of the men opened fire, killing Deputy Potter and wounding his partner.

One suspect, 19, turned himself in to officers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, two weeks later. He was charged with the murder of Patrolman Finch, Deputy Potter, and the attempted murder of Deputy Potters partner. A week earlier another suspect, 19, turned himself into the Richland County Sheriffs' Department. He was charged with the shootings of the three officers. The third suspect, 24, surrendered to Columbia officers three weeks after the shootings.

On June 17, 1975, the older suspect was convicted of two counts of murder and sentenced to life plus 99 years. As of 2020 he was in prison. The other two were convicted of accessory to murder and sentenced to 10 years each.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 1 year, 5 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace always knowing that your service and sacrifice are always remembered by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

February 21, 2021

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