Police Officer Robert B. Laurenson

Police Officer Robert B. Laurenson

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Saturday, June 2, 1973

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Robert B. Laurenson

Police Officer Robert Laurenson was shot and killed while taking action during a robbery of a bar.

Officer Laurenson and two other plainclothes officers stopped at a bar after finishing their tour. A man armed with a shotgun entered the bar, located at 155 Amsterdam Avenue, shortly before 3:00 am and announced a robbery. The subject walked towards the back and ordered the three officers to the ground as two accomplices walked into the door. The man then ordered the officers to hand over their wallets.

Officer Laurenson attempted to run towards the two men in the door when he was shot in the chest. The three suspects then fled on foot as the other two officers fired at them. Two of them escaped in a getaway car driven by a fourth accomplice while the other got into a cab.

During the next few weeks all four were arrested and charged with his murder. One, 21, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 8.5 to 25 years. He was paroled on October 5, 1981, and ordered to leave New York and return to his home in South Carolina. In May of 1984 he was returned to prison after he was stopped in a stolen car in New York. He was released nine months later. On June 12, 1985 he was arrested in the Bronx after he robbed a man of $10.00.

Officer Laurenson had served with the New York City Police Department for 2-1/2 years and was assigned to the 20th Precinct. His wife and 2-year-old daughter survived him.


  • Age 23
  • Tour 2 years, 5 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Paroled in 1981

plainclothes, robbery

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Officer Laurenson,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of New York City. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

June 2, 2023

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