Chief of Police Robert J. Mortell

Chief of Police Robert J. Mortell

Paxton Police Department, Massachusetts

End of Watch Tuesday, February 1, 1994

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Robert J. Mortell

Chief of Police Robert Mortell was shot and killed after locating three burglary suspects on Kendall Road in Holden.

Chief Mortell was responding to the call from a neighboring department, and as he turned the corner to the residence where the burglary had occurred, in a wooded area, he spotted one of the suspects. He was confronting one of the subjects at gunpoint when the man opened fire, killing him.

All three subjects were arrested. The subject who shot and killed Chief Mortell was sentenced to life without parole. Another subject was convicted of second-degree murder and was denied parole in 2023. The other accomplice was found guilty of armed robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon, and larceny and was paroled in 2023.

A Boston police officer, while on his way home from the funeral of Chief Mortell, apprehended a suspect who had just shot and killed Police Officer Berisford Anderson of the Boston Police Department.

Chief Mortell was an instructor at the in-service academy at Mt. Wachusett Community College, served as the town of Paxton D.A.R.E. Officer, and was a high honors graduate of the Quinsigamond Community College Criminal Justice Program. He had served with the Paxton Police Department for 12 years. He is survived by his wife, son, and two daughters.


  • Age 38
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge 1

Incident Details

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


Most Recent Reflection

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28 years…..think of you often and still today have the picture of you with daisy hung in my detective bureau! Always remembered and looked up to all the time Chief!
Det. Patrick O’Donoghue LPD

Detective Patrick O’Donoghue
Littleton police

February 1, 2022

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