Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrolman Russell D. Spannagel

San Antonio Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Saturday, June 30, 1973

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Reflections for Patrolman Russell D. Spannagel

Thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice is one that will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

June 30, 2020

Rest in peace Patrolman Spannagel.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

February 21, 2020

Rest in Peace Patrolman Russell D. Spannagel. Thank You for your Service and Sacrifice protecting the citizens of San Antonio, Texas.

I Pray for Peace for your Family,Friends and Co-Workers. I also Pray that the hounds of hell forever gnaw on the soul of the scum responsible for your murder. May he forever be plagued with tragedy. May he burn
in hell forever and ever!


Senior Special Agent B.L. Sherwood (Ret)
Port Terminal Railroad Police Houston, TX

June 30, 2016

Time may have passed but you are not forgotten. I believe as long as someone remembers you or speaks your name, you are still with us.
Thank you for your heroism.
GOD Bless

Detention Officer A.Zambito

July 4, 2015

On the 40th anniversy of your death today.We remember you

and the fateful day. You 're radio transmission that you were shot will never be forgotten

san antonio police

June 30, 2013

To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past. Your heroism and service is honored today, the 39th anniversary year of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered. Rest In Peace

I pray for the solace of all those that love and remember you for I know both the pain and pride are forever. Thanks to your fellow officer who wrote a touching account of the incident and subsequent aftermath on the lives of others. I sincerely believe those bullets don't just kill our beloved officers but a part of everyone who love them.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

December 17, 2012

What a tragic night on 06/30/73. It was a hot june day this would have been your last call of the night if you had not choosen to follow up on the cutting call. Time 9:45pm

I heard you check out on the radio at Tidewind st. With in seconds two other units said they would provide back up. They were only 3 or 5 miles away.

After a few minutes you came on the radio sounding out of breath but clear. "3-2 I've been shot" An emergency was put out all channels.

Officer Gene Palanas said he was 2 blocks away and arrived in 45 seconds. Your Killer was still standing in the yard holding your gun which he some how took away from you during a struggle.

Right behind Palanas was unit 3-4 a two man car arrived with Stover and Mercer. The shooter was apprehended quickly. Palanas and Mercer tried to help you with first aid with a massive chest wound. A Lt, arrived on the scene with in 5 mins and had the officers drive you to the hospital. S.E Baptist code 3. Back in 73 there was little traffic on loop410 it took 6 mins. In 10 mins after the shooting over 30 officers responded with more on the way. There was no advanced life support EMS ambulance than just a load and go.

Despite the whole E.R staff efforts you subsequently expired at 10:40 pm. Several times the disp had to have officer move there cars as some were parking a blk away and running to the scene. The E.R it seemed had over 100 officer jammed in there a sea of blue uniforms

The tragidy continued with the trial dragging out till 1977 in which your killer was only convicted on man slaugther and served less than 2 yrs.

Then your brother committed suicide in 2007, and the passing of your Dad in 2009.

Your parents and family were put through hell by Defense Atty's playing the system.

The tragidy continued with Officer Palanas committing suicide in 1984. I made that scene on another hot day.

I remember seeing you at the Medical Examiners officer its a sight I will never forget.

The address 523 Tidewind looks just as it did 38 yrs ago. It is a small residental street with kids outside playing where this kind of thing should have never happened.

Russell you and your killer were on a collision course that night from all the events min by min that led to the final confrontation. Maybe not specifally you but a Police officer you just happened to volunteer for the call on June 30th 1973.

retired police officer
san antonio texas

June 29, 2011

Russell it will be 37 years in two days since that tragic night. I talked with a E.R nurse recently who was working that night 06/30/73 in the emergency room when you were brought in. She described in detail how they tried to save you and how they used all the blood in the hosptial blood bank. One of our old acadmey instructors Tony Montalvo talked about your shooting often. Your dad past away recently so we know you two are reunited.

San Antonio P.D

June 28, 2010

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

February 25, 2008

Manslaughter? Served a few years?
Damn what a Travesty.
You are obviously in a much better place now.
The coward that ended your life will also be in a different place at the end of his miserable life...
A little deeper, a little darker and a whole lot hotter...
God Speed HERO.......

Sgt. Eddie Bounds (Retired)
Jacksonville Beach Police Department

October 14, 2006

So young.May you Rest in Peace.

June 30, 2006

Patrolman Spannagel,
As one officer wrote in another fallen officer's reflection-"no fallen officer should be without a reflection." I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of San Antonio.
I also think that it's a travesty of justice that the scum that murdered only served a few years in prison for "Manslaughter-"- reading that made me want to vomit.


April 15, 2005

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