Patrolman Donald Lee Marler

Patrolman Donald Lee Marler

Harrisonville Police Department, Missouri

End of Watch Friday, April 21, 1972

Donald Lee Marler

Patrolman Donald Marler and Patrolman Francis Wirt were shot and killed when they were ambushed by a suspect while walking their beat. The suspect approached them and opened fire with a M-1 rifle. Both officers fell to the ground wounded.

As they pleaded for their lives the suspect shot and killed them both. The suspect then shot and killed three citizens and wounded several others before committing suicide.

Patrolman Marler had served with the agency for two years. He is survived by his wife and child.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge 250

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; M-1
  • Offender Committed suicide

Most Recent Reflection

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I was born and raised in Harrisonville. I did not know Officers Marler and Wirt personally. But their deaths became the defining moment in my teenage years.

Because of this I have purchased memorial bricks in their honor that will be placed at Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park, Angel Fire, New Mexico. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. I am told these bricks will probably be placed later in the afternoon.

It has now been more than 45 years since these brave men were brutally slain. But I want to make sure their memory endures.

Concerned Citizen

August 7, 2017

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