Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Jason K. Grossnickle

Dayton City Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Thursday, May 23, 1996

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Reflections for Police Officer Jason K. Grossnickle

Officer Grossnickle,
I am sorry I didn't discover this website earlier. It was just within the last year that I discovered my passion for Law Enforcement. I was living in Columbus at the time of your death, but I am a Dayton native. It is always a tragedy to lose a Police Officer, but I must thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice to make Dayton safer. May you rest in peace.

Officer Grossnickle's family, friends, and Brothers and Sisters in Blue:

My heart still goes out to you on your loss. May you find peace and comfort in knowing he will always be a Hero!

Michelle Davis
Criminal Justice Student-Dayton

January 10, 2006

I knew Jake for UC. We became very close friends. I was having a very hard time transitioning into college life at Cincy and Jake took me under his wing which is no surprise to those who knew him. Jake believed in me during a time when I didn't believe in myself. He led me down the right path. I don't know where I would be today if Jake hadn't done what he did for me.

I had lost touch with Jake for many years. I've been looking for him for years now to just say thank you for the difference he made in my life. Ironically, through a simple google search, I'v found him here. I cannot describe the ache in my heart as I began to read Jake's memorial page. I had no idea of this horrible tragedy.

My heart goes out to Jake's family and friends. Jake will always hold a special place in my heart.

You will never be forgotten, my friend..........

Susie, Long Lost Friend

Susie Walters

November 30, 2005

It is almost impossible to explain Jake, but I will do my best to tell what I knew of him. I knew Jake from the time I was a little girl. His sister is one of my oldest friends. Someone once described him best-If you had just met him five minutes ago he made you feel as though you had known him your whole life.
He and my brother were very good childhood friends as well, and this made for many interesting sleep overs in which the "BIG brothers" always got the best of their little sisters. I even remember the car pooling to high school. Jake was the eternal comedian and could always put a smile on your face.
Jake was in my brother's wedding party and we had not seen each other in many years, but became fast friends ourselves. I remember his excitement when he told me he was going to the academy. I knew how much this meant to him, since our whole life we had always heard police stories from Larry, his father. He wanted to follow in the family line. He told me that when he was at UC in engineering he felt as though something was missing and so he came home to pursue a degree that would match better with his calling. I remember his first night on the job. He was so excited and told me about the evening, he sounded like a kid who's wildest dream had been fulfilled.
It has been almost ten years since I lost my friend. I still remember the day so vividly. When my family gets together we often reflect on the many colorful stories we tell of Jake and still feel the incredible pain of his loss. He was a believer, not just in God, but in the men and women who surrounded his life. He touched many people and will never be forgotten.

Cat, family friend

November 22, 2005

As an officer for a Dept. in a suburb of Cincinnati, I attended the funeral for Officer Grossnickle and was standing outside when Officer Cleaver was wheeled into the church. I remember thinking how tuff he was to be able to do that...


November 9, 2005

"People sleep peacefully in their beds at night beacuse rough men are prepared to do violence on their behalf."

You are not forgotten.

Police Officer
Fairfax (VA) Police Dept.

July 18, 2005

You gave the ultimate sacrifice so that others may be safe. Though your tour of duty was short, your courage will never be forgotten. My prayers are with you and your family. May you rest in eternal peace, and Gods speed.

NAO N. Sears
Dayton P.D.

March 25, 2005

I did not know you, but after reading what the others have written, I wish I did. God Bless You.

December 4, 2004

I may not have known you officer, but I feel obligated to say how proud I am to know that there still exists in this world good people like you. You were obviously a man of great character & integrity, judging from the comments & reflections left for you. I myself will be attending the academy this winter and subsequently work on the job. I do feel honored to have my chance to do what I believe is my duty for my family & community. I will remember you and your sacrifice always. I will carry it with me as a reminder to myself of the courage and dedication that I must always live up to. Rest In Peace Officer Grossnickle & God Bless you & your family


November 1, 2004

Jake, you gave of yourself so others could be safe and secure in our community, thank you. Rest in peace.

Ofr. Will S. Wright
Dayton Police

August 27, 2004

Officer Grossnickle,

Although your life and career was way too short, you obviously made quite an impact on everyone around you. I am sorry you had to die at the hands of such a low life coward, but know you will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace Brother...and to your partner, I will say a prayer for you too. I hope if I am ever in the same situation I can act as you did, GOD BLESS YOU Brother....


August 8, 2004

To the family and friends of Officer Grossnickle,

I never knew Officer Grossnickle, but reading the reflections left by his family and friends, I get a great sense of how outstanding this young man was.

To Beth, you may have only been 16 when you wrote your reflection, yet you are quite eloquent and obviously wise beyond your years. I hope, in the years that have passed, you have come to learn that you are now part of a much bigger family, the law enforcement family, and that they will try and help you with hard times.

To Officer Cleaver,
I couldn't imagine being in your shoes. I give you so much credit for doing what you had to do, and yet continuing in your chosen profession. I think most people would have packed it in after going through what you have, but the fact that you continue to do your job, and proudly, shows the kind of caliber you are made of. You may not have been able to save Jason, but who knows how many countless people you may have saved by preventing that lunatic to drive off.

Stay Strong and Stay Safe....

Glassboro PD, NJ

May 23, 2004

I was deeply touched after reading the remembrances for this fine young man who was senselessly murdered. To Officer Cleaver-his partner: You sir are a true hero, to be seriously wounded and return fire and kill the suspect-we all hope we would perform so heroically in such a critical moment. To Officer Grossnickle's family-my God continue to grant you comfort and grace as you walk this difficult road. Thank you for your many years of police service. I pray that your memories of Jason sustain you in your darkest moments. I am a patrol sergeant in a large department. My officers will hear of this incident in roll call and be reminded that tomorrow is never promised and our calling is a dangerous one. God Bless You! 9-25-03


September 25, 2003


I am the officer that was shot along with Jason. We went throught the academy together and became good friends. We were on our way in to work when we were ambushed. Officer Grossnickle was shot twice, first in the hand, and then in the head after he fell on the ground and was trying to turn around and return fire. Unfortunately, he was unable to return fire. He was hit in the hand, then I was hit in the face, and the shooter then walked right up to him and pulled the trigger just inches from his head. I think the shooter thought that he killed me, as he saw lots of my blood and then jumped into a truck he had parked in our lot, trying to drive away. Myself and 3 other officers who were reporting to work returned fire and killed the shooter. Jason's father, and his grandfather, were both Dayton police officers, very good ones. Jason's dad was our homicide squad supervisor and his grandfather is a retired Lieutenant. The whole ordeal has been very hard on the both of them. Five years have passed since our traumatic day. I am still employed as an officer and stil work the same area that Jason and I started out in. I have several newspaper articles if anyone would be interested in reading them. I will never forget "Jake" and the impressions he made on me in the 13 months that I got to know him. My wife and kids and I visit his grave site on his birthday, at Christmas, and on the 23rd of May every year, and we will continue to do so forever. To any officers that may read this, stay safe....

Robert L. Cleaver
Dayton Police Department

In Rememberance of you

Officer Michael E. DeBorde
Dayton, OH P.D.

Jason and the other officer were just minding their own buisseness when the killer pulled up in the truck of the man he had just killed. He asked for help, they were just asking what he needed when he shot them. They were shot in the lot of 3rd. district hq just outside of roll call where several officers were gathered for change of shift. They had to watch their collegues being shot from behind bullet proof glass until they were able to make their way down the hall and out the door to atempt to rescue the officers. Even worse, as with all officer involved shootings, homicide was called, except the Sgt. in charge, Jasons dad who was on duty at the time and heard the whole thing go down on the air. The officer that was with him was rushed to a local hospital where he spent the next week and then went through rehab for months before he was able to return to work. Jason's dad took retirement within just days os Jasons death.


I miss you Jake. Everytime I put on my badge I think of you and how proud I am to have known you. It's strange now to be older than you. That was never suppose to happen. All I can do is hope that one day we'll see each other again, and you can laugh with me at all my silly mistakes.
We should have seen more of each other, but distance was great. I always looked forward to your smile and your wit.
You're forever in my heart and always on my mind. Sleep well my friend.


I am not currently a police officer but I look into going into this field as soon as I graduate from high school. I think Jason's story is an extremely touching one and one that should never be forgotten. When I first heard about this story the day of his shooting and death I stopped dead in my tracks. This is the risk that all officers take when they are in line of duty and I am sure that this story always crosses their mind. I know if I ever take that big step into becoming a police officer I will never for once forget this story. God Bless all those brave officers out there.


I know I am not an officer, but my father, John Thomas, left me a note, telling me it was alright if I wanted to leave my comments on that event. I've lost a few family members before him, and many after, but I have never seen so many people come together and help support and grieve with the family, for his loss in life. I am meerly sixteen, but I've never quite healed from that ordeal, I have moved on, with it Jake in my heart, but everytime I speak of him or read of something about his life, I feel the swelling of warm, saltly tears beginning to form. I am telling you something very personal to me, for when you lose someone like Jake, you realize how much you should cherish someone's life, and rejoice in their passing. I rejoiced in his death, for he enter a world with our Father, our Lord. I have learned many things with that great loss: Cherish ones who are dear to you, you never know when their, or your time is up. Don't forget to forgive, always forgive someone for their sins, for you never know when you may sin against someone else. Rejoice, rejoice a life and death of a loved one, if you dewell on the loss, you will never make it. And lastly, never forget that your family is the one thing that will get you through everything, even the toughest events in your life, they make you a strong person. Please don't pass me off as a young, naive child, I may not have many years, but I've experiance a lot of loss in my short lifetime.

Beth Thomas
Jason's Cousin

Fortunately, since assuming command, no member has been murdered or killed in service of the community. And, although the names and spirits of those officers whose lives were taken from them continue to haunt us, they also remind us of their nobility, sense of duty, and dedication. Their ill-fate serves as a lesson and an example for us all. Let us never tarnish the badge we continue to wear or the legacy left by those members who have been stolen from us. May God watch over and protect us!

Chief Wm McManus

No death of a police officer is felt more intensely than by family and fellow police officers. I did not know Jake personally, like many on the police department, because he was a young officer; however, his terrible death stunned me and the entire Dayton police family.

His death was particularly tragic and painful for every member of the Dayton Police Department because all of us knew his dad, Sgt. Larry Grossnickle, and his uncle, Major John Thomas, both of whom were active officers at the time. Jake's grandfather, Lyle Grossnickle, was also a well-respected Dayton officer (retired). I cannot offer a personal reflection about Jason because I never had a chance to speak with the young man.

I can offer this. The great composure and dignity shown by Jake's parents, grandfather, uncle and entire family, during this awful ordeal, through the funeral and afterward, was incredibly inspiring. There were so many police officers who were grief-stricken for the family and yet, it was the family who consoled the officers. When the doors of the funeral home were to shut at the set time, the line of mourners outside was still very, very long . . . it appeared to be unceasing. Had the funeral home closed on time, no one would have criticized the Grossnickles.

But as tired and distraught as they certainly were, the family remained at the viewing until the late hours, turned no one away, and cordially greeted everybody who wanted to pay their respect to their slain son. Their grace and open compassion for everyone who came to the viewing said more to me about who Jake is . . . as a son, grandson, nephew and person . . . because he is the soul of this wonderful and proud family. I can only hope that I display that same class in the face of intense sorrow and adversity were it ever to befall me, God forbid.

Retired Sgt. Steve Grismer
Datyon Police Department

I was on Dayton PD with Jake and I was proud to have known him, if only for a short time. It is with great pride that he did his job, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who both served with DPD. Having left the department to serve in the military, I continually share my experiences and the pride I feel at having worked with outstanding officers like Jason Grossnickle.

Eric C Redden
USAF Office of Special Investigations

I was the immediate supervisor for Jake Grossnickle and Robert Cleaver at the time of this tragedy. I was on the first day of my long weekend when the shooting occurred. I raced to the hospital where Jake was. Jake's dad was my boss in Homicide before I made Sergeant. We both went into the trauma room and said good-bye to Jake. I sat with the Grossnickle family for awhile then went to the other hospital to see Rob. When I entered Rob's room, he scribbled "I'm sorry" on some paper. I hugged him and told him how proud of him I was for the way he handled the situation. He was a true hero that day. On the day we buried Jake, an ambulance brought Rob to the church. I have never been so proud in my entire career as when I pushed Rob's wheelchair into the church. Over 1500 people stood silently and acknowledged both our fallen hero and the one in the wheelchair. To see such an act of respect for two cops with only 3 months on the job was overwhelming.
Jake is truely missed and I was blessed to have had two remarkable men under my command.

Sgt. Jimmy Rohrer
Dayton Police Department

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