Policeman Gary K. McDonald

Policeman Gary K. McDonald

Los Angeles Police Department, California

End of Watch Wednesday, October 6, 1965

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Gary K. McDonald

Policeman McDonald was shot and killed by a robbery suspect whom he and his partner cornered in the rear of a market after responding to a silent alarm. As he was being handcuffed the suspect gained control of Policeman McDonald's partner's handgun and shot him three times. As he collapsed he pulled his pistol and killed the suspect.

Policeman McDonald had served with the agency for less than 1 year. He was survived by his expectant wife.


  • Age 22
  • Tour 11 months
  • Badge 12151

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

View all 22 Reflections

I just happened onto this when I thought about looking Gary up on the Internet. Gary was one of our new probationers who worked with several 2-man cars depending who was off. I had only been on for two years and Gary and I quickly became fast friends. All the guys loved him and I knew we was going to be an outstanding cop. All the guys loved him. He worried about not making probation, as he was married with a pregnant wife, Linda-Rae, whom I only met once. I laughed and guaranteed Gary he'd make probation with flying colors - I was wrong.
Gary was working afternoons, coming on at 1500. I was working mid-watch, on at 1800. My partner Joe Petticrew and we had just gassed up when the call came out, "Officer Needs Help," on Menlo north of Santa Barbara only a couple blocks from our station. Gary and Feder, a guy from his class were riding with Rischer and Jose Alcantara, both great cops. Both cars had answered an alarm at a store on the corner, one in front and one by the back. They didn't realize that both Gary and Feder had deployed at the back delivery area. I think Gary yelled that they had two perps and Alcantara sprinted about 100 feet toward the back. Just at he got to the corner the shots started - I think five - one going through Jose's left hand and hitting his baton and outer hip. Joe and I were first on the scene with Rischer directing us to the rear. We bailed out to see Jose wounded and he yelled us to go west after a black perp with a brown jacket and one handcuff. As I ran past I saw Feder and another black perp lying there in the dark. I didn't see the figure in blue lying nearby. A few minutes later the area was full of black and whites and guys on foot and someone said McDonald was hit. Joe and I ran back to the scene to find John Christensen, Joe Van Fleet and Bob Gosnell with Gary, Rischer and Jose. Chris was on his knees holding Gary's hand. Gary was pleading that we not tell his wife, as she was pregnant; he said it hurt and Chris told him to hang in, as an ambulance was on its way. Gary asked if he got "him," and we all assured him that he got the son-of-a-bitch good and that he was dead. Gary nodded a little. We couldn't see any wound except blood from Gary's leg, but Gosnell shined a light to see a small hole in his shirt near a button on Gary's abdomen. No blood was visible. Gary began to fade, but Chris squeezed his hand and he raised his head a little. The ambulance finally came and raced Gary and Jose to Central Receiving. The Dets. came and Joe and returned to the station to do our reports. We soon heard communications report that the suspect wanted for attempted murder was now wanted for murder of a policer. I know that after 55 years we all still think about Gary almost every day. I'll see you soon enough, buddy. Gary Paul Johnston 1*

Gary Paul Johnston
Former LAPD.

March 29, 2020

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