May 2019

Lieutenant Steven Dewayne Whitstine

Lieutenant Steven Dewayne Whitstine

East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, LA

Born: August 3, 1976

End of Watch: May 30, 2019

Age: 42

Years of Service: 17

Badge: Not Available

Lieutenant Steven Whetstone was killed in an automobile crash at about 6:30 a.m. He was en route to the sheriff’s office when his patrol car left the roadway, stuck a tree, and overturned. He suffered fatal injuries as a result of the crash. His canine partner suffered minor injuries and was treated by a local veterinarian. It is believed that the Lieutenant suffered a medical emergency immediately prior to the crash. 

He served with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office for eight years and had previously served with the Baker Police Department for nine years. He is survived by his wife and children. 

Lieutenant Joseph P. Johnson

Lieutenant Joseph P. Johnson

Seminole Police Department, Tribal Police

Born: November 29, 1954

End of Watch: May 30, 2019

Age: 64

Years of Service: 41 Years

Badge: 236

Military Veteran

Lieutenant Joe Johnson was killed in a  vehicle crash. He was driving between two Seminole Indian Reservations at 10:20 p.m. when his vehicle left the roadway and overturned into an adjacent canal. He was transported to the hospital where he died later from his injuries. 

Lieutenant Johnson was a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War and served the Seminole Police Department for 10 years. He previously served with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office for 26 years and the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office for five years. He is survived by his wife, two children, three grandchildren, and three siblings. 

Police Officer Jesus Marrero-Martínez

Police Officer Jesus Marrero-Martínez

Manatí Municipal Police Department, PR

Born: Not Available

End of Watch: May 25, 2019

Age: 37

Years of Service: 16 Years

Badge: 4573

Police Officer Jesus Marrero-Martínez was shot and killed while intervening in a car jacking attempt while off duty. He and a friend had gone to a club not realizing that it was closed. When they arrived in the parking lot, they were confronted by three masked men who demanded their car keys. His friend relinquished his keys but Officer Marrero-Martínez identified himself and drew his weapon. He shot and killed one of the subjects during a gunfire exchange. A second subject shot him in the back and arm before fleeing the scene. The two subjects are still at large but have been identified. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is handling the ongoing investigation into the attack. 

He is survived by his wife and four children. 

Police Officer William Ray Buchner, Jr.

Police Officer William Ray Buechner, Jr.

Auburn Police Division, AL

Born: August 27, 1981

End of Watch: May 19, 2019

Age: 37

Years of Service: 13 Years

Badge: Not Available

Police Officer William Buchner was shot and killed when he and two other officers responded to a domestic disturbance at 10:10 p.m. After the officers arrived on the scene a subject at the mobile home opened fire on them, killing Officer Buchner and wounding two other officers. The man fled the area on foot but was arrested early the next morning. The subject was charged with capital murder. 

He served with the Auburn Police Division for 13 years. He is survived by his wife, son, and step-daughter. 

Sergeant Kelvin Ansari

Sergeant Kelvin Ansari

Savannah Police Department, GA

Born: July 8, 1968

End of Watch: May 11, 2019

Age: 50

Years of Service: 10 Years

Badge: Not Available

Military Veteran

Sergeant Kelvin Ansari was shot and killed in an attempt to apprehend a robbery suspect. He and other officers responded to a robbery that occurred at a barbershop. The suspect was believed to have left the area but was inside a nearby vehicle. As Sergeant Ansar checked the area the man exited and opened fire on him and another officer striking them both. The subject fled into a nearby residential area and was found a short time later. As responding officers ordered him to surrender, he exited the shed that he was hiding in and opened fire again. He was fatally wounded by return fire. 

Sergeant Ansari had retired from the U.S. Army and served with the Savannah Police Department for 10 years. He is survived by his wife and four children. 

Constable Willie Houston “Hoot” West

Constable Willie Houston “Hoot” West

Lowndes County Constable’s Office, MS

Born: Not Available

End of Watch: May 9, 2019

Age: 81

Years of Service: 52

Badge: Not Available

Constable Hoot West succumbed to injuries sustained three days earlier when his vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree. He was serving civil service papers when the crash occurred. 

Constable West served as the elected constable of Lowndes County’s District 1 since 1971 and was serving his 13th consecutive term. He had a total of 52 years of law enforcement services and was a founding member and first president of the Mississippi Constables Association. 

He is survived by his son, two daughters, five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, mother, brother, and two sisters.

Police Officer Anthony Neri

Police Officer Anthony Neri

Sanibel Police Department, FL

Born: Not Available

End of Watch: May 6, 2019

Age: 63

Years of Service: 7 years

Badge: 1375

Police Officer Anthony Neri suffered a fatal heart attack while participating in the physical ability test. He collapsed while conducting an exercise and was transported to the local hospital where he passed away. He had served with the Sanibel Police Department for four years. Previously, he served with the Union Township Police Department in New Jersey where he served for three years. He is survived by his wife, Debra, and their children Allison and Daniel as well as his mother. 

Trooper Matthew Gatti

Trooper Matthew Gatti

Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee

Born: Not Available

End of Watch:  May 6, 2019

Age: 24

Years of Service: 11 months

Badge: Not Available

Trooper Matthew Gatti was killed when his patrol car collided with two tractor-trailers. The incident occurred at approximately 3:45 pm as he was responding to a car fire. His patrol car struck the rear of one semi before spinning into the second one. 

Police Officer Robert McKeithen

Police Officer Robert McKeithen

Biloxi Police Department, MS

Born: Not Available

End of Watch: May 5, 2019

Age: 58

Years of Service: 24 years

Badge: 126

Military Veteran

Police Officer Robert McKeithen was shot and killed in the Public Safety Center’s (Police Station) parking lot around 10:00 pm. A male subject approached him and shot him multiple times without provocation. The male subject fled the scene. Officer McKeithen was transported to a nearby hospital where he died from his wounds. The man who shot him, age 19, was arrested on May 6th and was charged with capital murder. 

After Hurricane Katrina, Officer McKeithen was one of five officers in the Biloxi Police Department to receive a Medal of Valor for helping to rescue four disabled children from a flooded home. 

Officer McKeithen was a US Air Force veteran and was with the police department for 24 years. He had planned to retire by the end of this year. He is survived by his wife, daughter, and stepchildren. 


K9 Officer Jordan Harris Sheldon

K9 Officer Jordan Harris Sheldon

Mooresville Police Department, North Carolina

Born: Not Available

End of Watch:  May 4, 2019

Age: 32

Years of Service: 6 years

Badge: Not Available

Police Officer Jordan Sheldon was shot and killed conducting a traffic stop. He was transported to the hospital where he died from his wounds. The suspect that shot him fled the scene of the crime and and later committed suicide in a nearby apartment.