Police Officer Richard John Klass

Police Officer Richard John Klass

Daly City Police Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, June 9, 1966

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Richard John Klass

Police Officer Richard Klass succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained one month earlier when he was shot with his own weapon while struggling with a suspect in front of 5863 Mission Street in San Francisco.

Officers were booking a prisoner into the Daly City Jail on Wellington Avenue on a charge of indecent exposure. As the officers were trying to fingerprint him the man broke away and fled down Mission Street toward San Francisco. An all-points bulletin was broadcast and Officer Klass spotted the fugitive.

Officer Klass located the man several blocks across the city line in San Francisco. A struggle ensued and the subject took Officer Klass' gun from him and shot him in the back, striking several vital organs. The subject then attempted to shoot Officer Klass in the face but another officer arrived and deflected the gun's barrel.

Officer Klass was rushed to Mary's Help Hospital where he underwent surgery for the removal of his spleen, a kidney, and his pancreas. He was paralyzed from the waist down from damage to his spinal cord. As he was being prepared for a routine exploratory operation on June 9th, 1966, he died unexpectedly from a heart attack.

The subject was convicted of Officer Klass' murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. His first conviction was overturned and he was sentenced to five years to life after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.

Officer Klass had served with Daly City Police Department for three years. He was survived by his fiancee, mother, father, and sister.


  • Age 24
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge 34

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Friday, May 6, 1966
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

escapee, sex offense

Most Recent Reflection

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I started with the Daly City Police Department in 1963 and became friends with Richard when he joined a little later. We always joked about which car was better, his Triumph or my Austin Healey. We raced up on Skyline Blvd. and became good friends. He was a good man.

Chuck Phillips
Retired as Federal Agent

September 28, 2021

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