Detective Sergeant Donald Robert Laabs

Detective Sergeant Donald Robert Laabs

Manitou Springs Police Department, Colorado

End of Watch Thursday, December 18, 1975

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Donald Robert Laabs

Detective Sergeant Donald Laabs was shot and killed while returning home in his cruiser. Witnesses observed him exit the highway in the direction he would normally travel home.

Approximately two hours later he was found shot to death in his police vehicle in the southbound lanes of I-25, near Arvada Street, in Colorado Springs. He had been shot eight times with a .22 caliber handgun.

Sgt. Laabs,who worked as an undercover narcotics officer, was also a U.S. Army veteran. He was survived by his wife and two young sons.

On the day of his death he had been promoted to detective sergeant in the Manitou Springs Police Department.


  • Age 28
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .22 caliber
  • Offender Case remains unsolved


Most Recent Reflection

View all 18 Reflections

Donnie and I worked together for 2 years in the MSPD patrol and traffic division, along with an occasional assignment to narcotics. In a small 10 man department, it wasn't uncommon to cross over and assist other officers. Donnie and became friends after he and his family came to Colorado. By coincidence he moved into a house that was two blocks from my wife and I. I had grown up in Security, Colorado; small town on south side of Colo. Spgs. I learned a lot from Donnie in the time we woked together. Anyone that ever worked with him or knew of him, could tell you how great he was at his job. I think that with his blonde curly hair and that Jersey accent, he could do a drug deal with anyone; in fact, while waiting for one of our case to be called he bought a bag of grass from a guy sitting next to us. Turned the baggie and the money over to a uniform and went back into the courtroom. He could do the job anywhere. I can only remember the approximately 600 police cars lining both sides of West Colo. Ave while filing into the church, then into the cemetary up in Manitou Springs. I was honored to be one of the honor guard that watched over his casket unit that trip to the cemetary. I'll never forget you Donnie and I hope you enjoy the conversations when I'm feeling down. One of the brightest moments of my life was when Larry Martin, Head of DA's investigators for El Paso County, came into my business and stated that we hav solved the murder of our collegue and friend. Praise God!
Larry Martin

Larry Rawlinson, Sr Officer
Manitou Springs Police Department, Manitou Spgs., CO.

January 19, 2019

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