Colorado Springs, Colorado: Patrolman Burchfield of the Colorado Springs Police Department was shot to death on November 26, 1953, with a .22 caliber handgun by an unknown subject during an armed robbery investigation in the area of 1600 N. Wood Ave. That robbery was part of a pattern that had plagued the area.
Burchfield was only 34 years old when he died. He was happily married with three children.
Officer Burchfield was part of a team investigating a series of armed robberies and he had been checking the area for suspects. He radioed to dispatch that he was returning to headquarters around 7:55pm. However, Burchfield never came in.
When officers rushed five blocks down they found one of their own, shot to death in the driver’s seat of his own squad car. Burchfield had died of multiple gunshot wounds. He had been shot eight times at close range behind the right ear, over the right eye, once in the right cheek, twice in the right shoulder, and three times in the right arm. The shots suggest that he was shot by someone in the passenger seat or from the back seat.
Nine shells, (along with the bullets identified by the FBI lab as coming from a Colt Woodsman automatic .22 caliber pistol) were found in the car. If those shells have been preserved, they should be re-examined one more time with modern technology to make sure nothing was missed.
Near his feet, his colleagues found an ID card stolen from Alton Peterson, the most recent Wood Ave robbery victim. Here as well, modern technology should be applied to the card to make sure we did not miss a print or any other residue left on the card. Finding the card at Burchfield’s feet suggested to his colleagues that Burchfield had caught the robbery suspect and that he was probably killed by that suspect.
I am sure the car was searched and hope all prints were preserved. We should check them one more time for matches. A long shot because many people had a seat in that squad car’s passenger’s seat over the years but still … one more try … for Burchfield?