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APD: History Of Heroism

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 04:13 PM CDT
They take a pledge to protect our community, and that promise means they may have to put their lives at risk.

The first Austin police officer to die in the line of duty was killed in 1875. Until Friday morning 19 others have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Now, seven years since an Austin police officer was killed in the line of duty, 42-year-old Senior Officer Jaime Padron has been added to that list.

In October of 2004, 37-year-old Officer Amy Donovan was fatally injured while chasing a suspect. She was accidentally hit by her partner's police cruiser when he backed up to keep the suspect from escaping. The mother of four graduated Cadet School in the top of her class just months before her death. Donovan is the first and only female fallen APD officer.

Three years earlier, Officer Clinton Hunter died after he was hit by a car on the scene of a call. The 22-year-old was killed by a drunk driver.

In 1995, 25-year-old Officer Drew Bolin was also killed by a drunk driver. Officer Bolin was directing traffic after a wreck on I-35 when he was hit.

Until Friday morning, more than two decades have passed since the last Austin police officer was shot and killed. 26-year-old Officer Ralph Ablanedo was gunned down during a traffic stop on Live Oak street in May of 1978. David Lee Powell opened fire on Officer Ablanedo with an AK-47. Powell was sentenced to death and executed in 2010.

For a complete list of all 20 Austin police officers killed in the line of duty, click here and scroll down.APD: History Of Heroism

Fallen Austin Officers

Amy Donovan

Amy Donovan, 37, Oct. 31, 2004
Officer Donovan was chasing a suspect on foot in East Austin. Her partner put the patrol car in reverse and tried to block the man's escape route. During the chase, the patrol car struck Donovan and pinned her next to a utility pole. Donovan had been a police officer for five months. She was survived by a husband and four children.

Clinton Hunter

Clinton Hunter, 22, Nov. 29, 2001
Officer Hunter was on the I-35 access road near Onion Creek waiting to deploy a stinger, a device used to puncture and flatten tires, to stop car during a chase. The car hit and killed Hunter. He had been an officer for 14 months. Hunter is survived by a wife and two children.

Drew Alan Bolin

Drew Alan Bolin, 25, June 2, 1995
Officer Bolin was directing traffic at an accident site on I-35 when a drunk driver hit and killed him. Bolin had been an officer for five months. He was survived by his parents and fiancee.

Robert Martinez Jr.

Robert Martinez Jr., 26, February 25, 1989
Officer Robert Martinez Jr. died when his patrol car struck a tree. Martinez, who was en route to assist another officer, swerved to avoid a pick up truck that had pulled into his path.

Lee Smith

Lee Smith, 28, December 15, 1979
Officer Smith was chasing a suspect on MoPac when he lost control of his motorcycle. He died from his injuries several months later.

Ralph A. Ablanedo

Ralph A. Ablanedo, 26, May 18, 1978
Officer Ablanedo was shot to death during a traffic stop. The passenger in the car, David Lee Powell, had a warrant for his arrest. He shot Ablanedo with an AK-47. Powell was executed for the murder in 2010.

Read the entire list here.


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