Remembering North Fla. officers who died in the line of duty

By Eliot Kleinberg
Palm Beach Post 
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — May 15 is National Peace Officers Memorial Day. In 2002, this column listed 16 Palm Beach County officers slain in the line of duty.

Now that Neighborhood Post has expanded into the Treasure Coast, we'll take time to honor those from St. Lucie County (no agencies in Martin County report killings).

As always, let us know if we've left someone out.

Sheriff Dan Carlton, 43, St. Lucie County, May 22, 1915: Carlton, the county's second sheriff, was shot and killed by the night marshal on Pine Street in downtown Fort Pierce.

Carlton shot and wounded the marshal, who was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison.

Sgt. Willie B. Ellis, 43, Fort Pierce Police, July 17, 1966: When Ellis and officer Clifford Minus responded to a domestic call, the husband, Eugene Emerson, shot Ellis five times and Minus twice; Minus survived.

Emerson was sentenced to a life term; he died in prison in 2003.

Lt. Grover Clifton Cooper III, Sgt. Jimmy Wouters, Fort Pierce Police, Jan. 12, 1987: When five Fort Pierce officers and three St. Lucie County Sheriff's deputies conducted a drug raid on a White City mobile home, Dan Hunt opened fire.

Cooper, 31, and Wouters, 33, were killed and officer Robert Spring was shot in the back but survived. Hunt also died.

Sgt. Danny Parrish, 29, Fort Pierce Police, Jan. 19, 1991: After he stopped a car going the wrong way on a one-way street, the driver, 18-year-old Billy Leon Kearse, wrestled his gun from him and shot him more than a dozen times. Kearse is on Death Row.

Readers: Our May 2 column about Creighton's Restaurant has sparked a deluge of inquiries about area eateries.

Unfortunately, we can't get to all of them.

We will try to feature the ones with the most historic significance, and limit ourselves to one or two segments a year, so we can focus on all of the area's history.

Thanks, and keep those inquiries coming.

Officer Down Memorial Page:

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial:

The Post Time column will answer your questions about local history. Submit your questions to Post Time, The Palm Beach Post, 2915 S. Congress Ave., Delray Beach, Fla. 33445. Include your full name and hometown. Call 820-3467 or 279-3467. Sorry; no personal replies.

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