Remembering America's Heroes: Police Officers Who Passed Away in March 2020


Those who choose to go into law enforcement know the amount of sacrifice their career choice may require, yet they pursue it anyway for the greater good.

Here are some of the heroes who gave their lives to protect their communities in March 2020.

Officer Brent William Perry Scrimshire

Arkansas officer Brent William Perry Scrimshire, 33, passed away on March 10, 2020, after getting shot during a traffic stop. He is survived by his wife and two young children.

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He served with the Hot Springs Police Department for eight years before his death, according to KATV.

Corporal James R. O’Connor

Cpl. James R. O’Connor, 46, was shot and killed while serving an arrest warrant in Philadelphia on March 13.

He served with the Philadelphia Police Department for 23 years and was on the SWAT team for 15 years, according to the police department.

O’ Connor is survived by his wife and two adult children.

Officer Christopher Ryan Walsh

Springfield, Missouri, Police Officer Christopher Ryan Walsh died after being shot while heroically attempting to save a shooting victim at a local gas station.

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The 32-year-old Army veteran had served with the Missouri police department since 2016; he is survived by his wife and daughter.

“Chris died a hero, rushing in without regard to his own safety to protect members of his community,” Chief of Police Paul Williams said in a statement. “His courageous actions serve as an example to us all.”

Deputy Kenterrous Taylor

While responding to a burglary incident, 27-year-old Bibb County Sheriff’s Deputy Kenterrous Taylor died in a car accident in Georgia, according to WGXA.

He was sworn-in nearly one year ago.

Senior Deputy Christopher Scott Korzilius

Sr. Deputy Christopher Korzilius was killed while on-duty in a car accident on March 18 near Austin, Texas. According to KXAN, a two-door car crossed over the road and collided with the Ford Escape Korzilius was driving.

Austin-Travis County EMS pronounced the officer dead on the scene. He had been serving with the Travis County Sheriff’s Department since 2016.

Officer Kaia LaFay Grant

Springdale, Ohio, Police Officer Kaia LaFay Grant, 33, died on March 21 after a car chase suspect crashed into two police cruisers. She had served with the department since 2012, according to WXIX.

Grant was the first officer in the department to die in the line of duty.

Trooper Justin R. Schaffer

Washington State Patrol Trooper Justin R. Schaffer was struck and killed during a high-speed chase on March 24.

According to KIRO-TV, the 28-year-old trooper left his patrol car to place spikes on the road in order to deflate the suspect’s tires; while doing so, he was hit by an oncoming vehicle.

He served with the WSP for seven years before his death.

Trooper Nolan Sanders

North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper Nolan Sanders died in a car accident while on duty on March 27.

He served with the highway patrol for five years before his death.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, his family was only able to hold a small memorial service for the fallen officer, according to WITN. A public memorial will be planned for a later date.

Sergeant Ben Jenkins

Sgt. Ben Jenkins of the Nevada Highway Patrol was tragically shot and killed on March 27 after he pulled over to check on a car on the side of the road.

The suspect, who has since been charged, allegedly shot the 47-year-old officer and stole his uniform and patrol car, according to KVVU.

Jenkins was a veteran of both the Army National Guard and Air National Guard.

Jenkins is survived by his wife, his mother, four children and five grandchildren.

Commander Greg Carnicle

Phoenix Police Department Commander Greg Carnicle died as a result of injuries after responding to a domestic violence call in a north Phoenix neighborhood on March 29.

According to the Phoenix Police Department, he served with the department for 31 years and was only months away from retiring. He was the first commander to lose his life in the line of duty.

Carnicle is survived by his wife, four children and four grandchildren, with two more on the way.

Sheriff Kirk A. Coker

Sheriff Kirk A. Coker died in a single-vehicle crash near Fritch, Texas, on March 29. The Texas Department of Safety ruled that the crash was a result of a “medical event.”

He served with the Hutchinson County Sheriff’s office for over 12 years, three of which as sheriff.

“Sheriff Coker passed away doing what he loved, going to a call with his Deputies,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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