Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Trooper Mark Hunter Coates

South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina

End of Watch Friday, November 20, 1992

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Trooper Mark Hunter Coates

Trp Coates and family:
As a trooper I know I always have a partner out there. I keep Mark Coates in my mind daily. Trooper Coates was the perfect example of what a trooper should be. His video truly changed the way I approach and deal with violators. Thank you Mark for helping me be a better trooper thru you.

Trooper Matt Fagiana
Tennessee Highway Patrol

I will not forget.
Ever.

Anonymous

Today in training, we watched the video of your last traffic stop. I said a prayer for you and your family, knowing that even though it has been more than 10 years, you will never be forgotten. There is an old American Indian prayer that says: When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die,
the world will cry and you will rejoice."

I just wanted to let you know that there are people that are still touched by your life every day, and you are truly a hero - in life and death. Even though I didn't know you -I am truly saddened by your death and for the grief of your family. I know you are watching over us as we now carry on your life's mission for you. Rest in Peace, you are loved and missed.

Kelly Gulich
Reserve Deputy, Fairfax Sheriff's Office

Trooper Coates is an inspiration to myself and other officer's who knew what he stood for and how he stood for it.

Cadet Sargeant N.Benedict
Topeka Police

Devil Dog,
You have given the ultimate sacrifice, and you will not be forgotten.... Blessed Are The Peacemakers! Keep it blue and by all means Semper Fi!!!!!!!!

Trooper Coates,

Your undying warrior spirit was captured for all to see. Even though it hurts us to see what ultimately happened, we now can bear witness that you went out in true warrior fashion, putting five rounds into your attacker, and fighting with that Marine tenacity that is world famous. You definitely were "in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps", the South Carolina Highway Patrol and Law Enforcement officers everywhere. Every time I see the sign with your name on I-95, I remember your sacrifice. You are not forgotten. Rest in peace.

Sgt George Erdel
USMC Military Police (MCAS Beaufort)

TROOPER COATES YOU HAVE TOUCHED SO MANY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS LIVES. SEVERAL OF US HAVE WATCHED YOUR STOP ON THE "IN THE LINE OF DUTY" TRAINING VIDEOS SERIES...I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR INCIDENT...GOD BLESS YOU FAMILY AND FRIENDS...YOUR DEATH WAS NOT IN VAIN!

PO JAMES H GILBERT
COLUMBUS DIV OF POLICE OHIO

Trooper Coates is and should be an inspiration to us all. The relentless duty that he performed for his last time that night is one shared by so many of us. I watched the video of the incident and learned a lot from it and Trooper Coates----Never underestimate anyone. The stop seemed to be going just as a normal traffic stop as we do on a daily basis, but after seeing the video of his tragic death, there are a lot of things that go through my mind on a stop. Mark Coates is one of those thoughts. We can learn a lot from the video, and keep Trooper Coates alive in all of us. Thank you, Mark. Gods Speed, and Semper Fidelis!

Officer Jeff Harris
Victoria Police Department

This was a terrible and tragic ordeal. I have gained a lot of knowledge from you and your video that I have watched. Gods Speed Cpl. Coates.

Semper Fidelis
Jeff Harris

Officer Jeff Harris
Victoria Police Dept.

Trooper Coates,
Again, another academy watched your video today (9-11-02). It made so many of us come to a somber realization that anything can happen at any time. It was so sad to see what happened, it made us all so angry. The terroism attacks that occured one year ago today combined with your video made us proud of what we do and people's foot steps like yours we follow in. God bless.
Idaho POST Academy #135

Deputy M Holthaus
Kootenai County SD, Idaho

Today I sat down, as an FTO, with several new recruits and we viewed Trooper Coates's video. Trooper Coates's experience has a tremendous impact on every law enforcement officer to this day (2002). The recruits related that they believe that Trooper Coates sacrifice will one day save their lives. Trooper Coates memory lives on in their minds every day while they are on duty. Trooper Coates, you are a true warrior. Thank You.

Officer
Clearwater Police Department

I WILL NEVER FORGET VIEWING THE FOOTAGE OF TROOPER COATES' VEHICLE STOP WHILE ATTENDING MY DEPT'S ANNUAL FIREARMS QUALIFICATION/IN-SERVICE TRAINING SESSION. THE VIDEO AND ITS EVENTS ARE FOREVER BURNED INTO MY MEMORY. TO ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS WHO RIDE SOLO OR WALK A BEAT SOLO; MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU. MAY YOU SIGN OUT AT YOUR END OF TOUR, AND GO SAFELY HOME TO YOUR FAMILIES. BE SAFE+ WEAR YOUR VEST! MAY GOD BLESS TROOPER COATES AND WATCH OVER HIS FAMILY.

p.o. john e. engebretsen
nypd

While returning from vacation, I stopped at the location Tpr. Coates was killed. There is a sign on the side of I-95 naming it the Trooper Mark Coates Memorial Highway. I have seen the chilling video of his death. I took a photo of the highway sign to be used in training for our officers.
May you rest in peace while we continue the fight.

Lt. Tim Chesser
Florence (KY) Police Dept.

Godspeed and Semper FI

To Lance Cpl. Mark Coates and his family:
I wanted you to know, by allowing the use of Mark's patrol car video to be a training video. You have saved the lives of thousands of police officers world wide. You will never know the number of Police Officers that have seen the tragic and horrible murder of Mark on that night. Those officers will keep the memory of Mark alive in their minds, and use him as a guardian angel to protect them as they continue the fight.

Patrolman Robert Porter
Clemson Police Department S.C.

Lcpl Coates, I like millions of others have seen your tragic video. All I can think of is that God needed another Marine to stand watch over his gates. Your death was a tragedy, and we all take the oath to defend the public's lives and property, even if it means our life, that does not mean we have to like it. The citizens of South Carolina should feel proud and very well protected knowing there are Troopers like yourself "Fighting what you fear". Semper Fidelis, Marine!

Officer Josh Garner
Ga Depr Corrections

We watched this video in class last night and it really changed the way I look at the carrer I am about to get into. My prayers go out to his family. This video changed my life.

Ronald Butler
BLET #92 Gaston Community College

As a Law Enforcement officer I have had the horrible experience of seeing this video many times. Every time I see the video it bring tears to my eyes and I sit there in wonder and always ask myself the same question that police officers ask when some like this goes wrong. Why? Not a day goes by that I don't put to use the lesson's that can be used from the horrible senseless act of cruelty and bloodshed towards all police officers. This video effects us all in the Law Enforcement community. When Trooper Coates Died on that horrible night a peace of every Police Officer, Trooper, Deputy, etc., died with him on that traffic stop. I wish there was more that could be done for Trooper Coates than leaving this poem in his memory and using things from this horrible event that maybe one day will save the life of one of our Fellow Brothers and Sister's who every day put on the Badge and look danger in the eye

"U.S. Air Force Security Police Prayer":
Lord, you have called us to be guardians
of a nation founded on your principles.
Whatever our tasks as Security Police men and women,
we do them to serve you and our nation.
We are proud to accept the responsibility of this high calling.
We dedicated ourselves to our vocation,
and ask for guidance and courage
in aiding our people to live with dignity, in safety and peace.
We know that true security comes from your presence,
so we pray with the psalmist:
You bless those who obey you, Lord;
You love protects them like a shield.
Use us, O Lord, as a shield for your people,
reflecting your security and peace.



Amen

SRA Jason Slaughter
United States Air Force Security Police

Mark,
Your death was absolute senseless tragedy. Like many others I remember watching the video of your last traffic stop, like all others I had tears in my eyes and bumps on my arms. Every traffic stop I have ever made the thought of you in always in the back of my mind. I took a picture of you in uniform and put it on my ticket book, so each and every time I get out my car I think of you and the sacrifice you made. You died so that other could live. You are my hero and you will live forever through me and other officer like me, we continue to struggle each and everyday without you here on earth.....Rest easy bro!

Donald K Bond (EOW 9-6-01)
Julie R Jacks (EOW 5-6-02)

Officer C Penney
Chattanooga Police Department

I just completed the Del Mar Regional Police Academy last fall, and we watched the video of the tragic death of Trooper Coates. I remember thinking there is no way anything is going to go wrong. Everything appeared to be going smoothly during the stop. At the same time, I was anticipating the innevitable. I learned a lot from Trooper Coates--always expect the unexpected and take nothing for granted. Trooper Coates showed strength and courage and will always be an ispiration to me.

Ptlm. John Anthony Sandoval
Kingsville Police Department

As an aspiring young law enforcement student I have seen the video from your squad cam of that terrible night in Nov. 1992 a couple times. Each time I have felt great sadness. But also inspired to continue where those who didn't get that chance to come home at the end of their shift have left off. Watch over us in the law enforcement community in our daily struggles. Thank You.

Reserve Sgt. Andrew Dixon
Maplewood PD MN

I'm currently attending the night-time criminal justice academy, and we watched the video last week. I cannot begin to express the feelings that I encountered. I felt anger, fear, frustration, sadness, and more hatred than I've felt in a while. I will never second guess that video, nor the actions done that day by Trooper Coates . . but I know that by watching that video I can add some things into my "tool belt." I do know this . . that was a one in a million shot fired by Blackburn and that tells me that when Almighty God calls for one of his children to come home . . it is time. May you rest in peace brother. God Bless You.

Anonymous

I have learned so much from the untimely death of Trooper Coates. I couldn't help but wipe the tears from my eyes as I watched the video. Since seeing this tragedy, I watch for hands in the pockets, and I never pass another officer who is on a traffic stop. I always stop and give backup. May you rest in peace Mark. I'll be honored to meet you in heaven someday.

PTLM. Brandon S. Roberts
Cedar Key Police Dept. Florida

If ever there was a spirirt of "I won't give up.", it was displayed by Trooper Coates. As many have said, I also witnessed the video while in training. I knew then that the career that I had chosen was dangerous. Trooper Coates passing was not in vain. It helped me as well as my fellow trainees realize that we need to be alert to all possibilities. To Trooper Coates family, God bless you.

Deputy Chad Collins
Florence County SO

Trooper Coates,
I, too, have seen the in car video taken from your cruiser showing the graphic details of how you stopped a violent criminal one moment and fought to hang on to your life in the next. It all happened very quickly and unexpectedly. I was shown your video in the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training basic academy class #265. I have made it on the streets for 5 years now and I owe it to you. You see, every time I stop a vehicle I think of you calling Ridgeland for help. The ultimate sacrafice that you made continues to help new officers to be trained. I hope that it makes the same impact on them as it made on me 5 years ago.
May God watch over you as you walk the beat on your final tour. Thank you.

Trp. John Ballard
Kentucky Horse Park Police

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.