Lieutenant Ronald D. Oliver

End of Watch Wednesday, August 5, 1981

memphis police association fallen officers_0014_Ronald D Oliver

Lieutenant Ronald D. Oliver

Lieutenant Oliver was shot and killed after he and several other officers responded a silent alarm call at Wendy's Restaurant.

Unknown to any of the responding officers a man armed with a .45-caliber handgun had tied up the employees and was robbing the store. When Lieutenant Oliver arrived, he encountered a man exiting the building. When Lieutenant Oliver approached, the suspect fled on foot. Lieutenant Oliver and a second officer who had responded pursued the suspect, catching him and tackling him to the ground. While on the ground the suspect drew his .45-caliber handgun and opened fire killing Lieutenant Oliver and wounding the other officer. The suspect began to flee on foot when a third officer arrived and exchanged shots with the suspect. The suspect then fled on foot and was apprehended about an hour later.

The suspect was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. He was executed in May 2007.

Lieutenant Oliver had served with the Memphis Police Department for 20 years. He is survived by his wife, daughter, and stepson.


  • Age: 43
  • Tour: 20 years
  • Badge: 152

Incident Details

  • Cause: Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun: .45 caliber
  • Offender: Executed in 2007