Deputy Sheriff Robert R. Lawson

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Deputy Sheriff Robert R. Lawson

Itasca County Sheriff's Office, Minnesota

End of Watch Thursday, October 29, 1981

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Robert R. Lawson

Deputy Lawson was shot and killed while attempting to serve a warrant on a suspect. Deputy Lawson was off duty but when he heard the suspect was at home he reported onto duty and went to arrest the man. The suspect had been arrested by Deputy Lawson on several previous occasions. After shooting Deputy Lawson the man took his two young children hostage for 18 hours before he was taken into custody.

The 27-year-old man suspect convicted of murder and sentenced to life. He was denied parole in January, 2016, but will be eligible for parole again in five years.

Deputy Lawson had been with the agency for 11 years and was survived by his wife and seven children.


  • Age 51
  • Tour 11 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .357 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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I grew up just a few miles away from Taconite in Marble Mn. In 1981, I was a freshman in high school and had already made my decision to become a police officer. EVERYONE knew Deputy Beefy Lawson if you lived east of Grand Rapids in Itasca County. He was well known and a well respected law man. RIP sir, you are gone, but as you can see, not forgotten!

Lieutenant (Retired)
St. Cloud Police Department

January 14, 2021

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