Policeman Richard D. Kent

Policeman Richard D. Kent

Los Angeles Police Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, December 8, 1960

Richard D. Kent

Policeman Kent was shot and killed by a robbery suspect.

Policeman Kent was going in to the Lucky Auto Parts store on 86th Street and Broadway, he knew the manager in there and he would get some batteries for his flashlight and be right back out when he walked into an armed robbery in progress. A gun battle with the robber ensued and Policeman Kent wounded the robber before passing away. His partner, in the car outside, was responding to the gunshots when he encountered the robber. He chased him and captured him and his getaway driver.

The shooter was sentenced to death, but later paroled. The driver was sentenced to life.

Policeman Kent was a veteran of the Korean War. He was survived by wife and three children.

Bio

  • Age 30
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge 7169

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .380 caliber
  • Offender Convicted

Most Recent Reflection

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Dick Kent was working what was known at the time as "F-Cars" , those selected to work in plainclothes to roll on all felony calls in progress. Dick discovered he needed flashlight batteries and stopped at a nearby auto parts store. He unwittingly walked in on an armed robbery in progress, the suspect immediately pointing his gun squarely at him. Dick. had always said he would ever be disarmed or taken by a suspect and immediately pushed aside his coat to draw his weapon. As he did so the suspect quickly saw his badge clipped to his belt and opened fire. As the worst of luck would have it a bullet from the suspect's gun struck directly into Dick's heart. However, as Dick fell in the course of drawing his weapon he fired and struck the suspect in the shoulder heaving him back as he fled the store. His partner, Jeff Poor, had heard the shots, chased the suspect down and captured him a small distance from the store. The coroner took this as a remarkable case noting that Dick Kent was dead the moment the bullet struck through his heart and he fired back distinctively through his desired impulse. ….Why do I know this? I had been Kent's partner shortly before this incident. Contrary to some reports that both Dick and his partner fired shots inside the store and failed to hit the suspect, his partner was waiting outside in the car and never entered the store but did, in fact, capture the suspect. As my luck would have it, it was my partner and I who were assigned to take the suspect to General Hospital the following day to attend to and change his bandages. I always thought I attended to him quite well. Note: The night previous to the robbery the courageous suspect pistol whipped an elderly woman while robbing a Crenshaw district jewelry store.

Sgt. Frank Clatanoff
LAPD, 77th Division Homicide Former partner and friend

July 25, 2018

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