Officer William Cooke « Utah Law Enforcement Memorial

Officer William Cooke

Died on October 18, 1858

Age 55
Salt Lake City Police Department
Homicide: Handgun

Officer Cooke was the first Utah police officer to be murdered in the line of duty. On the afternoon of October 13, the 55-year-old victim was on duty and alone at the city jail. Two men came to the jail and demanded the release of an inmate. When Officer Cooke refused, one of the men shot him in the thigh. Officer Cooke died five days later. The killer fled Salt Lake City. He was shot and killed October 21, near Fort Bridger, Wyoming, by a Salt Lake mail carrier familiar with the murder. Officer Cooke was married and the father of six children. He is buried in Salt Lake City Cemetery. His bronze name plaque is sponsored by the Salt Lake City Honorary Colonels.

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5 responses to “Officer William Cooke”

  1. […] first Utah officer to die as the result of homicide was Salt Lake City Officer WILLIAM COOKE. He was shot during a jailbreak in SLC, and died two weeks […]

  2. Eric Whitehead says:

    The Utah Peace Officer Association is going to be honoring Officer William Cooke at the Fallen Officer Trail Ride in Moab on April 18 2015. We would like to invite Family and friends to come to the event to help Honor Officer Cooke and all our Fallen Officers.

  3. BL Smith says:

    Amazing how many people are affected by ones actions. I am so proud to be a member of the Utah Peace Officer Association which started the Utah Law Enforcement Memorial (we are located in the same building now)and recognize, each year, 14 (different) fallen officers. If anyone has contact information on relatives I am the keeper of fallen officer relative information so we can reach out to family/relative members when these events occur. I can be reached at

  4. Laurie Dykes-Martinez says:

    I wish I had known about the Fallen Officer Trail Ride in Moab on the 18 April 2015. William Cooke and his wife Sarah (Sutton) Cooke are my 3rd great grandparent’s. We would have loved to have been there!!

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