Trooper Ray L. Pierson

Trooper Ray L. Pierson

Died on:  

November 7, 1978

Age 30
Utah Highway Patrol
Homicide: Handgun

Trooper Pierson was shot and killed during a traffic stop west of Panguitch. The 29-year-old victim had recently been transferred to the area and his patrol vehicle had not been equipped with the proper radio crystals. At approximately 10 a.m., Trooper Pierson stopped a pickup on Highway 20, unaware that it was the subject of a recent radio broadcast regarding a gas skip. As Trooper Pierson approached the vehicle, the 18-year-old driver shot him in the chest with a .357-magnum. Although Trooper Pierson managed to return fire striking the vehicle, he succumbed to his wound at the scene. His body was found a few minutes later by a passing motorist, who used the police radio to notify authorities. Half an hour later, a pickup attempted to evade a police checkpoint on Interstate 15. Officers pursued it to Beaver where it was forced off the road. The 18-year-old suspect was slightly wounded. He subsequently pled guilty to first-degree murder. He is currently incarcerated in Utah State Prison. The son of UHP Sgt. Dean Pierson, Trooper Pierson was married and the father of two children. A third child was born three months after his death. Trooper Pierson is buried in Antimony City Cemetery.  His bronze name plaque is sponsored by the Utah Highway Patrol Association.

Fallen Officers