Auxiliary Policeman Paul N. Luther

Auxiliary Policeman Paul N. Luther

Mechanicville Police Department, New York

End of Watch Saturday, October 30, 1976

Add to My Heroes

Paul N. Luther

Patrolman Paul Luther was shot and killed while on patrol near a restaurant. A sniper opened fire on the establishment, fatally wounding Patrolman Luther, who had given him a speeding ticket two hours earlier. He also killed a man, 51, as he sat in the crowded restaurant, and wounded 9 other people. During the siege, he fired over 300 rounds and only quit after a fire started in his apartment. During the siege he shot and seriously another policeman. Had used eight different rifles.

The sniper, 32, pleaded guilty in June 1977 to two counts of second-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life. He was convicted of eight counts of attempted murder and sentenced to 8 to 25 years on each count. He was convicted of three counts of first degree assault and sentenced to 15 years. The killer was denied parole for a sixth time in June, 2013, and a seventh time in 2019. He was still in prison on July 15, 2022.

The incident drew national attention at time when our country was less accustomed to mass shootings.

At his 2019 parole hearing he said the speeding ticket was not the reason for his rampage. He said he new he shot a patrolman but did know he was Patrolman Luther. He said six months earlier he went to the police about issues with his family. He said the police left him frustrated. He said that, alcoholism, and flashbacks of Vietnam was the motive for his rage.

Patrolman Luther was also the president of the local fire company. He was survived by his parents. The same day Patrolman Luther lost his life, he had taken the exam that would allow him to be a full time patrolman.


  • Age 21
  • Tour 9 months
  • Badge 119

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

View all 26 Reflections

You sir will never be forgotten.

Retired First Sergeant Thomas Webb, New York State Police.

August 5, 2020

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.