Patrolman Donald Lee Marler

Patrolman Donald Lee Marler

Harrisonville Police Department, Missouri

End of Watch Friday, April 21, 1972

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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 on the northwest corner of the town square.

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 one citizen, wounded Sheriff Bill Gough, and wounded two bank employees before committing suicide.

Patrolman Marler was a United States Navy veteran and had served with the Harrisonville Police Department for two years. He is survived by his wife and child.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge 250
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

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

ambush, foot patrol

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Marler,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served with the USN during the Vietnam War. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Fair Winds And Following Seas

United States Border Patrol

April 21, 2022

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