Officer Joseph Bruce Burtner

Officer Joseph Bruce Burtner

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch Tuesday, December 12, 1995

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Joseph Bruce Burtner

Officer Joseph 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 the 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, 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 six 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

ambush, suicide attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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I still think of you often..its been so long since we were kids. I miss you and love you..I will never forget you or let your memory go. I will never forget when your mom told me you was going to school to be a cop.. she was proud but she was scared for you..Rest easy. Gone but never forgotten.


December 30, 2020

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