Monday, December 05, 2022

Joplin Police Department officer killed in line of duty 55 years ago today

(From the Joplin Police Department)

Today we remember Joplin Patrolman Robert M. Clifton who died on December 5th, 1967 serving the citizens of Joplin. He had served for 6 1/2 years and died at the age of 34. Please join us as we recognize Patrolman Clifton and his service and sacrifice to our community on this day 55 years ago.

Patrolman Bob Clifton was shot and killed when he and another officer stopped a vehicle for a routine inspection at 2803 S. Main Street.

The vehicle was occupied by four men and a juvenile girl who had just robbed and beaten a grocery store operator in Bowie, Texas, several hours earlier. Patrolman Clifton observed their vehicle exit I-44 and stop at a restaurant before driving into the southern part of the city. 

He stopped the car and had ordered the occupants to exit after he grew suspicious of them. The driver pulled a gun opened fire on Patrolman Clifton, fatally wounding him. Another officer who was pulling up to the scene returned fire and fatally wounded the subject.

The other four occupants were returned to authorities in Texas to face robbery charges.

Patrolman Clifton had served with the Joplin Police Department for 6-1/2 years. He was survived by his wife and two children.

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