Officer Down: Trooper Randall Wade Vetter
Officer Down: Trooper Randall Wade Vetter - [null, Texas]
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Trooper Randall Vetter died from a gunshot wound he received four days earlier while conducting a traffic stop.
Trooper Vetter had stopped a 72-year-old driver for not wearing a seatbelt. While he was sitting in his patrol car, the suspect exited his vehicle and opened fire with a rifle. The trooper was struck in the head. Trooper Vetter was able to return fire but did not hit the suspect.
The suspect then used the patrol car's radio to say he shot the officer and then attempted to flee the scene. An off duty officer who was passing by, witnessed the shooting and alerted other officers. The suspect was then taken into custody after a brief standoff on the roadway. The suspect was known to local officers for claiming he would shoot any officer who tried to write him a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt. The suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to life. He died in prison in 2008.
Trooper Vetter had served with the Texas Department of Public Safety for six years. He is survived by his wife and eight-month-old son.