Patrolman William R. H. Fortye

Patrolman William R. H. Fortye

Las Vegas Police Department, Nevada

End of Watch Friday, October 28, 1966

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William R. H. Fortye

Patrolman William Fortye was shot and killed with his own weapon after conducting a traffic stop in the 400 block of Highland Drive.

During the stop, the suspect began to struggle with Patrolman Fortye, gained control of his weapon, and shot him three times. Patrolman Fortye's canine partner, Burgie, attacked the suspect and bit him on the hand, and severed his thumb. The suspect was later apprehended as a result of the dog bite. Burgie was found sitting next to Patrolman Fortye when backup officers arrived.

The suspect was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life. He was paroled in 1981, and died November 11th, 1998.

Patrolman Fortye had served with the Las Vegas Police Department for five years. He was survived by his wife and daughter.


  • Age 32
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Paroled in 1981

traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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That's Bill Fortye with the FIRST City of Las Vegas Police Department (Later Metro) Police Dog, Burgie. Burgie was originally my brother-in-law's (Lew Thomas') dog and he was trained at the old Prison Farm up by Sunrise (Frenchman's) Mountain. When Lew went to California as a State Parole Officer, Burgie went to Bill. Bill Fortye was killed on Highland Drive (Now MLK) it the late 60's and the killer was caught because Burgie had bitten off three of his fingers (NOT just his thumb!). They were recovered from Burgie's tummy and matched with the killer who had gone for help with his hand to what is now University Medical Center Hospital. Burgie was a powerful and beautiful silver/black Shepard and I used to get to walk him at night along Jones and Alta. When not "on duty" while Lew had Burgie, he was kept at home rather than a kennel. I was about 14-15 at the time. When I walked Burgie at night I was always a little cautious since I had seen him in training when the individuals retained at the Prison Farm wore the attack suit for training. Burgie was a very powerful dog and without exception took the attack suit wearing prisoners (who volunteered!) to the ground easily and then Lew called him off. If my sister still has photos of Burgie and Lew and I'll see if she can find them so I can post them. By the way, the second police dog here was a Belgian Malinois named "Rocky" and he was smaller than Burgie but trained with Burgie. I don't remember the name of the other officer who had Rocky.

Richard C Vaughan
Lived with Burgie a few years

November 12, 2022

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