Hall of Honor
The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) has lost six of its heroic police officers while in the line of duty.
Special Police Officer Louis Shaw
While transporting a prisoner on December 6, 1935, Special Police Officer Louis Shaw died when a gasoline tanker struck his patrol car on Jefferson Davis Highway. Officer Shaw was pinned inside his vehicle when it burst into flames. Since his death preceded the 1940 creation of the ACPD, his line-of-duty death was never formally recognized. At the time he was killed, he was serving as a frontline police officer under the Arlington County Circuit Court. Many of these court-appointed officers became the founding members of the ACPD.
Nearly 70 years later, Officer Shaw’s name was added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., and The Arlington County Board passed a resolution on April 19, 2005, recognizing Officer Shaw’s sacrifice.
Detective Russell Pettie
On January 20, 1954, Detective Russell Pettie was killed in the line of duty as he attempted to serve a sanity hearing warrant at the subject's residence. Upon his arrival at the residence, the subject was asleep in a locked bedroom. When Detective Pettie tried to unlock the door, the subject armed himself with a sawed-off shotgun and a pistol. The subject was ordered to surrender and when he didn’t comply, tear gas grenades were hurled into the rear bedroom and the basement. Detective Pettie and two other officers entered and searched the first floor of the house. As Detective Pettie exited through the front of the house, another officer stated that he heard a noise come from the attic area. As Detective Pettie turned back toward the house, he was hit in the left temple by a shot fired from a .30-30 rifle. The subject was shot and killed by return gunfire.
Officer Israel Gonzalez
On October 25, 1972, Officer Israel Gonzalez was killed during a bank robbery at the Arlington Trust Company in Crystal Plaza. The suspects, disguised as telephone workmen, cut the telephone and alarm system lines in the area. While on a routine bank check, Officer Gonzalez entered the bank and encountered one of the suspects as he was leaving the back room. The suspect drew his weapon and shot Officer Gonzalez three times in the groin, once in the left shoulder and once in the rear right shoulder. Officer Gonzalez returned fire twice, and it is believed that he hit the suspect due to the amount of blood found in the bank. All suspects have since been apprehended, with the last arrest made 20 years after Officer Gonzalez's death.
Officer George Pomraning
On September 2, 1973, Officer George Pomraning was killed while transporting a prisoner in his police cruiser. Officer Pomraning and his partner arrested a subject who appeared to be under the influence of drugs. The subject had struggled during the arrest, making a full search difficult. Officer Pomraning was in the back of the cruiser with the subject when the subject pulled out a hidden gun from his boot and shot Officer Pomraning three times, mortally wounding him and wounding his partner, Officer Gerald Dawson.
Officer John Buckley
On April 15, 1977, Officer John Buckley was shot and killed while responding to a silent alarm at the Virginia National Bank. As the two bank robbers were leaving the bank, Officer Buckley confronted them at the bank’s entrance. Shots were exchanged, and Officer Buckley was struck in the chest. He later died from his wounds at Arlington Hospital.