Patrolman Donald Martin

Patrolman Donald Martin

Cincinnati Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Saturday, March 11, 1961

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Donald Martin

Patrolman Donald Martin was shot and killed with his own .38 caliber service weapon when he interrupted a burglary in progress at a car dealership at 721 Reading Road in Cincinnati.

Patrolman Martin was walking through the lot at approximately 3 am when he encountered a man tampering with one of the vehicles. The suspect, who had a lookout and a getaway driver, was attempting to steal the vehicle's battery.

When Patrolman Martin encountered the suspect, a violent struggle ensued. The suspect was able to gain control of Patrolman Martin's .38 caliber service weapon and shot him in the chest. After being shot, Patrolman Martin attempted to escape to his patrol car, but the suspect chased after him and continued firing into his back. The suspect then shot him once in the back of the head after the officer fell.

Four men who were driving past the dealership witnessed the suspect chasing after Patrolman Martin and shooting him in the back. The witnesses immediately turned around and tended to the mortally wounded officer as all three suspects fled the scene.

The case remained unsolved for 44 years until the agency's Cold Case Squad identified the suspect in 2005. The primary suspect and shooter, however, had died in 2002, three years before the case was re-opened. Of the other two suspects, one disappeared and was believed killed by the primary suspect; the third suspect was found to be alive in 2005.

Patrolman Martin was a United States Army Korean War veteran who had served with the Cincinnati Police Department for 5 years and was assigned to District Seven. He was survived by his wife and children.

He is buried in Arlington Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Springfield Township, Hamilton County, Ohio.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge P338
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Case solved in 2005


Most Recent Reflection

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NEVER FORGET! Please help me honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Patrolman Donald Martin of the Cincinnati Police Department, Ohio and the additional 58 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer (Retired)
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

March 11, 2024

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