Deputy Joseph Bruce Burtner

Deputy Joseph Bruce Burtner

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch Tuesday, December 12, 1995

Joseph Bruce Burtner

Officer Burtner was shot and killed after he had responded to a suicide call. He was ambushed by the man with an AK-47 after entering the house to check on his well-being. The suspect had left a suicide message as the greeting on his own answering machine and the police were notified after it was heard.

Officer Burtner entered the house after 30 minutes of knocking on the door and other means of attention getting. He attempted a forced entry with approval of his sergeant and lieutenant, who were both at the scene. The suspect claimed self defense and stated that he thought his house was being burglarized. The suspect was convicted of manslaughter, four counts of attempted murder, and one count of armed robbery and sentenced to six consecutive life terms in prison.

Officer Burtner had served with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office for 6 months. He is survived by his wife.


  • Age 23
  • Tour 6 months
  • Badge 5552

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; AK-47
  • Offender Sentenced to life

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The Sheriffs of Florida and their deputies will never forget the sacrifice you and your family made to uphold our laws and protect society.

Your name has been inscribed on the Florida Sheriffs and the National Law Enforcement Memorial and in our hearts. May you forever rest in peace.

A scripture inscribed on the Florida Sheriffs Law Enforcement Memorial:

"Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called the children
of God." Matthew 5:9

Executive Director Steve Casey
Florida Sheriffs Association

August 20, 2016

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