Patrolman Robert H. Fossum

Patrolman Robert H. Fossum

Minneapolis Police Department, Minnesota

End of Watch Saturday, August 17, 1957

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Robert H. Fossum

Patrolman Fossum was shot and killed during a vehicle pursuit of several suspects. He and his partner, Patrolman Ward Canfield, began chasing a stolen car, not knowing that the three occupants were en route to rob a local market. During the chase the suspects began firing at the officers' squad car, before crashing. As the officers approached the suspects opened fire again, striking Patrolman Fossum in the head, killing him.

As the suspects attempted to escape they also shot Officer Canfield before striking him with their vehicle and dragging him approximately 30 feet. The suspects, all brothers, were able to elude authorities for 28 days before they were located. Two of the suspects were shot and killed in a shootout with police and the third suspect committed suicide in jail in 1958.

Patrolman Canfield was forced to retire due to his injuries in 1960 and was confined to a wheelchair and his bed. His injuries required him to have 97 blood transfusions and over 100 surgeries. He succumbed to his wounds on March 2, 2000. The Hennepin County, Minnesota, coroner ruled his death a homicide due to the gunshot wounds.

Patrolman Fossum had been with the agency for six years. He was survived by his expectant wife and three children.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace always knowing that your memory, service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

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

August 17, 2020

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