Police Officer David Guttenberg

Police Officer David Guttenberg

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Thursday, December 28, 1978

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David Guttenberg

Police Officer David Guttenberg was shot and killed when he walked into a robbery in progress.

Officer Guttenberg entered an auto body shop near the corner of 86th Street and Seventh Avenue to check on a double-parked vehicle. Unbeknownst to the officer, there was a man inside the location robbing the shop. When Officer Guttenberg entered, he was shot and killed. The suspect then fled the location in the double-parked car. A lookout who was standing near the double-parked car fled on foot when he heard the shots.

Officer Guttenberg’s partner, who was sitting in the parked patrol car, was unaware of what had happened until the store owner ran out of the store when the suspects fled. He was unable to apprehend either suspect, as they had already fled in the vehicle.

Both men were apprehended and convicted of murder. They were both sentenced to life in prison. The shooter died in prison; his lookout was paroled in July of 2014.

Officer Guttenberg was a United States Army veteran and had served with the New York City Police Department for 18 years and was assigned to the 68th Precinct. His wife and four children survived him.

In October 2017, Seventh Avenue and 86th Avenue was renamed Patrolman David Guttenberg Avenue.


  • Age 49
  • Tour 18 years
  • Badge 15403
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .22 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life in prison

robbery in progress

Most Recent Reflection

View all 47 Reflections

Patrolman David Guttenberg.... We never met in this life..... Although at times, I felt you with me in spirit guiding me through the years. Our journey began in 2007 when I became a Volunteer Auxiliary in your 68th Precinct. I passed by your memorial plaque often when I went out on foot patrol heading to 86 street. As the years went on, I wondered why you weren't honored properly in the community where you served and gave your life. Fast Forward to 2017 and 40 years Later, that oversight was corrected and you were finally honored.

I have had the privilege to get to know your kids and grandkids and I am very thankful for that. They are the sweetest and most kind. You would be very proud of them! You are and will continue to be my hero and blue guardian angel in blue!

Christian Durante
Retired NYPD Auxiliary Police Sergeant
68th Pct
DHS Federal Employee

December 27, 2023

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