Tucson Police Officer Memorial

“Gone but never forgotten”

It is not how these officers died that made them heroes. It is how they lived.

Commander Saluting

Officer Erik Hite - June 2, 2008

Officer Hite pursued a vehicle driven by a suspect who had fired at his neighbors and responding Pima County Sheriff's deputies a short time earlier. Officers continued pursuing even as the suspect fired at them. The suspect stopped his vehicle and set up an ambush, firing at Officer Hite as he turned a corner. Officer Hite succumbed to his injuries the next day.

Officer Erik Hite

Officer Patrick K. Hardesty - May 26, 2003

Officer Hardesty responded to a hit-and-run collision in the 800 block of east Ft. Lowell. A short time after his arrival, Officer Hardesty made contact with the suspect. A scuffle ensued, and Officer Hardesty was fatally shot.

Officer Patrick Hardesty

Officer Jeffrey Ross - February 18, 1982

Officer Ross was leading a team of narcotics officers into the office of the Ranch House Bar on north Casa Grande Highway when the bar manager, Clifford Hamilton, shot him in the chest. Hamilton was shot and killed as officers returned fire. Officer Ross died within an hour of the shooting.

Officer Jeffrey Ross

Officer James Smith - October 28, 1980

 Officer Smith was responding to a motor vehicle collision with injuries in the vicinity of Speedway Boulevard and Plumer Avenue when a motorist grazed the rear of his motorcycle. Officer Smith’s motorcycle was thrown into the opposing lane of traffic, where he was struck head-on. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officer James Smith

Officer Barry Headricks - October 28, 1974

Officer Headricks was participating in a daylight narcotics raid at an apartment at 1150 E. 8th Street. He was shot three times by Rufus Mincey and died within one hour. Officer Headricks wounded Mincey, who recovered and was imprisoned.

Officer Barry Headricks

Officer Robert Cummins - September 7, 1936

Officer Cummins had traveled to Phoenix with a group of Tucson motorcycle officers to escort an American Legion convention parade. As he was beginning his return to Tucson, his motorcycle skidded on loose gravel at the intersection of Van Buren and 16th Street. He sustained a skull fracture and died three days later.

Officer Robert Cummins

Officer William Katzenstein - July 26, 1902

Officer Katzenstein was in the vicinity of Broadway and Meyer Street when a fire broke out. He responded to assist as an officer and also as the elected Assistant Fire Chief. As he was opening a hydrant, he was shot five times by Teodoro Elias. Elias was exacting revenge for a recent arrest of his close friend by Officer Katzenstein.

Officer William Katzenstein

Officer William Elliott - July 3, 1892

Officer Elliott was patrolling Meyer Street between McCormick and Cushing just after midnight when Santos Alvarado, a notorious criminal, confronted him. Alvarado drew a knife and attacked Officer Elliott. The officer sustained a stab wound through the heart and died at the scene. Alvarado was shot and killed by Officer Elliott.

Officer William Elliott