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

Most Recent Reflection

View all 29 Reflections

Dear Robert,
My forever friend.
Today is your birthday, and how you used to kid me about being 10 days older than me…
11/12/49. If if wasn’t for your bravery, from the earliest of our friendship, I might have taken another path. I was afraid to walk to school, we were in kindergarten together.
You stopped at my front door every day. We walked together. I went to school because of your showing me the way. We went to school every single day for the next 8 years!
My hero. When you were killed, I was a teacher in upstate NY. I guess your showing me the way to school did the trick. I think of you often. I was a teacher for 33 years. Because of you, Robert, I went to school. Be at peace be my hero let me continue to show others they can be also be brave. As brave as you. Happy Birthday, Robert. Worms were our friends……

Janet Allen
Childhood friend

November 12, 2022

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