Police Officer John Thomas Burnette

Police Officer John Thomas Burnette

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, North Carolina

End of Watch Tuesday, October 5, 1993

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John Thomas Burnette

Officer John Burnette and Officer Anthony Nobles were shot and killed after a foot chase with a suspect.

The officers had stopped a suspicious van in an apartment complex. The suspect fled on foot into the woods surrounding the complex. When the officers entered the woods, the suspect attacked them and was able to disarm Officer Burnette. He then shot both officers.

The officers were transported to Carolinas Medical Center by responding officers, where both were pronounced dead on arrival.

The suspect was arrested nearby after a brief manhunt involving over 700 officers from various local, state, and federal agencies in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was later convicted of two counts of first degree murder and sentenced to death.

Officer Burnette had served with the agency for two and a half years. He is survived by his mother, stepfather, and sister.

The city of Charlotte named a park and two streets in honor of Officer Burnette and Officer Nobles.


  • Age 25
  • Tour 2 years, 6 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to death

Most Recent Reflection

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I’ve always been fascinated in a morbid way by crime—kind of like a car crash I can’t always look away from. I was born Tuesday, October 5, 1993; I just googled any murders that may have happened that day. To see that two officers were killed breaks my heart; that this man was 25 is eerie, because I’m 25 right now. Little synchronicities always make me wonder about this life... I just wanted to pay my respects, having stumbled upon this tragedy that unfolded as I entered the world. Birth and death... every day is someone’s greatest or worst around the globe. Humbling to think about. My condolences to everyone who loved this man and the other officer. It warms my heart that there are still recent entries by others on here, remembering them.


September 12, 2019

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