Officer Brett C. Buckmister

Officer Brett C. Buckmister

BADGE #5548
EOW: March 21st, 2000
Age: 27

At approximately 9:30 a.m. on March 21, 2000, DPS Officer Brett Buckmister (the youngest DPS officer to lose his life in the line of duty) was killed when his patrol car collided with a van on US89 in Page, Arizona. Officer Buckmister was responding to another collision on US89 at the time of the fatal collision. Three of the five occupant of the van received fatal injuries in the collision. Officer Buckmister started his career with DPS in February 1999. Officer Buckmister was a native of Mesa, AZ and had served one year, one month, and one day with the department.

Brett C. Buckmister Memorial Site

Northbound US 89 milepost 544.5 about 100 feet east of highway

Officer Floyd J. Fink, Jr.

Officer Floyd J. Fink, Jr.

BADGE #940
EOW: February 18th, 2000
Age: 53

Officer Fink had just stopped an eastbound motorist on the Superstition Freeway (U.S. 60) near McClintock Drive, Tempe, when his patrol car was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by Robert Stavers, 22, of Mesa. Upon impact, Officer Fink’s patrol car burst into flames, trapping the 28-year DPS veteran officer. Several people tried to rescue the DPS officer, who had not yet removed his seatbelt, from the flaming wreckage, but were unable to do so until they were able to douse the flames with personal extinguishers. The Miami native was pronounced dead about an hour later at the Maricopa County Hospital Burn Unit. Stavers was charged with second-degree murder, endangerment, possession and use of dangerous drugs, possession of marijuana, and leaving the scene of a fatal crash. In December 2000, Stravers pled guilty to a charge of manslaughter. On March 30th, 2001, Stravers was sentenced to 18 years in prison, the maximum allowable under the plea deal reached with Maricopa County prosecutors. Just two weeks short of his 28-year anniversary with the Department, Officer Fink had the most years of service among DPS/AHP officers killed in the line of duty.

Floyd J. Fink, Jr. Memorial Site

Arizona Department of Public Safety – Knutson Sub Station, Phoenix, AZ

Officer Juan N. Cruz

Officer Juan N. Cruz

BADGE #3111
EOW: December 9th, 1998
Age: 48

Officer Cruz, along with two other DPS officers, were blocking the high-speed (left) traffic lane of Interstate 10 in Tucson, Arizona, with their patrol vehicles, while investigating a prior collision. A westbound vehicle driven by Tucson resident Marissa A. Rodriguez, 21, struck the rear of Officer Cruz’s vehicle, which was positioned at the far east end of the collision scene. Officer Cruz was sitting in his vehicle at the time of the collision and received fatal injuries as a result of the crash. Rodriguez was charged with second degree murder, criminal damage, and two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer. She eventually pled guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Juan N. Cruz Memorial Site

Prince Rd just west of I 10(W Prince Rd & I-10 Frontage Rd, Tucson, AZ 85705, USA)

Motor Officer Doug E. Knutson

Motor Officer Doug E. Knutson

BADGE #3818
EOW: January 2nd, 1998
Age: 43

While standing and waiting for a tow truck to remove an abandoned vehicle at the gore point of Scottsdale Road and westbound Loop 202 (Red Mountain Freeway), Motorcycle Officer Knutson suffered multiple injuries when struck from behind by a small pickup truck driven by Brett Baxter, 22, of Tempe. He was taken to Maricopa County Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Officer Knutson was the first DPS motorcycle officer to be killed in the line of duty.

Douglas E. Knutson Memorial Site

Arizona Highway Patrol, Knutson Station, corner of University and 16th in Phoenix

Officer Robert K. Martin

Officer Robert K. Martin

BADGE #474
EOW: August 15th, 1995
Age: 57

Officer Martin was shot to death during a traffic stop on the Beeline Highway, about seven miles north of Shea Boulevard. With 27 years of service, Officer Martin had the most years of service among DPS/AHP officers killed in the line of duty. His assailant, Ernesto Salgado Martinez, a 19-year-old ex-convict from Globe, fled the scene and was captured two days later in California. Martinez was sentenced to death in 1998 after being convicted on Sept. 26, 1997, on one count of first-degree murder, two counts of theft and two counts of misconduct.

Robert K. Martin Memorial Site

Southbound SR 87 milepost 195

Sergeant Michael. L. Crowe

Sergeant Michael. L. Crowe

BADGE #2729
EOW: July 5th, 1995
Age: 41

Sgt. Crowe was shot, along with Yuma Police Department Lt. Dan Elkins, after they arrived at the Southwest border Alliance headquarters building near the Yuma International Airport on the night of July 4th. The two were members of the SBA task force and had agreed to meet at the building to discuss missing items from the SBA property room. Upon entering the building, they interrupted a burglary in progress and were shot by the intruder. Yuma police arrested Jack Ray Hudson, a Yuma County Sheriff’s Office deputy, as a suspect in the double murder. The deputy was a fellow member of the same narcotics task force and was later convicted of the double murder. On April 30, 1997, Hudson was sentenced to prison for life.

Michael L. Crowe Memorial SIte

DPS Yuma Headquarters, 2111 Gila Ridge Rd, Yuma, AZ 85365, USA


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