Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Trooper James Donald Thornton

Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas

End of Watch Tuesday, October 2, 1973

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Trooper James Donald Thornton

Trooper Thornton,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Army during World War II. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

October 2, 2023

Rest in peace and always know that your service and sacrifice will never be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

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

October 2, 2020

Rest in peace Trooper Thornton.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

April 14, 2019

Being new to KHP only 4 years service. I am honored to serve with such brave men who gave all so that others could be safe. My thoughts will be with your family today.

Sherry Eckman, Lead VIN Inspector

October 2, 2017

A sad day for us who served with Jim and will never forget. Jim had only been in the Topeka district about 30 days when he was killed. I never got the chance to become better acquainted with him as he was on the opposite shift than I. What I remember about that day was that I was about to complete the day shift and Jim had just reported to work on the evening shift when his untimely death occurred. Lt. Charlie Williams and I proceeded to I-70 and I 470 to intercept Jim's patrol vehicle which the shooter had stolen after the shooting had occurred. The stolen patrol vehicle turned off the Interstate at MacVicar and went through the old Topeka Stated Hospital grounds being fired on by Sergeant Otie Roberts before becoming involved in a crash at Roosevelt and 6th Street in west Topeka. He was killed in a gun battle with Topeka Police on a service station drive when he refused to surrender.

Laynard Shearer, Lt. Col. KHP (Ret.)
Kansas Highway Patrol

October 2, 2016

I never knew you Trooper Thornton, but I wear the same uniform. Thank you for your service sir, and Gods Speed sir.

Master Trooper
Kansas Highway Patrol

October 2, 2016

I remember Trooper Thornton from the times I met him at the KHP Training Center in Salina, Kansas for In-Service Training. He always had a smile and was friendly to us younger Troopers. His passing was a tragic loss for the KHP. He is missed.

Lieutenant Retired
Kansas Highway Patrol

October 4, 2015

I think of you often. And I miss you!

William J Thornton

June 18, 2014

Rest in Peace, Trooper Thornton. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

February 4, 2014

To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past. Your heroism and service is honored today, the 40th anniversary year of your death. I am priviliged to leave a tribute to you. 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.

Phyllis Lasater Loya
mom of fallen Pittsburg (CA) officer Larry Lasater

April 27, 2013

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

Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

August 20, 2012

The men and women of the Kansas Highway Patrol continually honor your memory and will never forget you sacrifice.

Colonel Terry Maple
Kansas Highway Patrol

May 8, 2010

Rest in Peace Trooper.

Michigan State Police

April 30, 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

October 25, 2007

You are remembered today and thank you Sir for your service.

This writer is pleased that justice was served quickly in yur passing.


October 14, 2007

Rest in peace Brother James, you are a true hero and are not forgotten.

Son of G. Truman Wortham EOW 7/15/73

Assistant Chief Carl Wortham
Sand Springs Police Dept. Okla

October 16, 2003

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