Police Officer Gerald William Hempe

Police Officer Gerald William Hempe

Milwaukee Police Department, Wisconsin

End of Watch Wednesday, January 31, 1973

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Gerald William Hempe

Officers Gerald Hempe and Charles Smith were shot and killed during a traffic stop at 10:06 pm.

While attempting to arrest the driver of the vehicle, a struggle ensued. During the struggle, a bystander who witnessed the stop walked up to the officers and opened fire, striking them both in the neck and head. The bystander had nothing to do with the stop.

The suspect, 27, was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences on June 12, 1973. He was denied parole in 2010. He has another parole hearing on May 11, 2023. As of October 16, 2022, he was in prison.

Officer Hempe had served with the Milwaukee Police Department for six years.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 6 years, 2 months
  • Badge 1356

Incident Details

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

ambush, traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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

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

January 31, 2021

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