P/O Robert Kuhn

Officer Robert Kuhn


On this day 1965 we lost our Brother Officer Robert Kuhn to gunfire based on the following:

On July 22, 1965 at the intersection of North Avenue and Ellamont Street, Officer Robert Kuhn observed a car double parked. He approached the vehicle and found it empty. As he looked inside the car, a suspect approached him from behind. The suspect shot Kuhn six times with a pistol. The suspect than took Officer Kuhn service revolver from his holster and shot him six more times. Police eventually killed the suspect. Investigation revealed that the suspect had narcotics inside of his vehicle. Officer Kuhn served in the U.S. Marine Corps from September 24, 1962 to March 23, 1963. He was active in the Marine Corps Reserves until the time of his death.

For more information we have pulled the following two news articles from the time of this incident


Kuhn's, Nephew's Deaths
Charged After Meeting
By George J. Hiltner

David Cooper, 45, of the 2900 block Westwood Avenue, was charged by police yesterday with shooting and killing Western District Patrolman Robert H Kuhn, early Thursday morning (22 July 1965) Six other charges, including the shooting and killing of William Cooper, his 29 year old nephew, also were placed against Cooper. All were marked “Abated by death” since the accused man also died after police arrested him for the spree. The charges included three assaults on his arresting officers, Patrolman John Hess, James Griffin and Robert Powell: one charge of possessing marijuana, and one charge of possessing three deadly weapons, .22 and .38 caliber pistols, and a blackjack.

Decided at Conference
The decision to institute charges against the elder Mr. Cooper and to accuse no one in connection with his death was made yesterday in a high-level conference attended by Charles E. Moylan. State's attorney, Capt. Wade Poole, of the Western District; Lt. Anton Glover, of the homicide squad, and Sgt. Hobert Lewis, also of homicide. Mr. Moylan stated that he also conferred with Dr. Charles S. Petty, assistant medical examiner for Maryland. The Slate's attorney complimented the Police Department for the "superlative job that had been done in piecing together the

Narrative of what occurred in the early morning hours of Thursday. “Mr. Moylan then said: “it appears incomprehensible that David Cooper shot officer: at least five times in the body, thereby causing his death. “Three pellets were recovered from the body of Officer Kuhn and a total of 15 gunshot wounds were found on his body. The attack was clearly unprovoked as Officer Kuhn was simply making a car check for double parking and a 3100 block of W. North Ave. “It also appears that David Cooper was responsible for the death of his nephew, William Cooper. Some minutes after shooting Officer Kuhn, the elder Cooper shot the nephew three times in the right temple with a .22 caliber revolver thereby causing his death. This revolver was recovered on Cooper at the time of his arrest. No charges will be placed against anyone for the death of David Cooper himself. Dr. Petty found Cooper to be suffering from advanced case of heart disease showing both an enlarged heart and significant clogging of the arteries. “The cardiac condition was such that any excessive strain might have well brought on the heart attack.

Cooper had himself extreme exertions of energy in the shooting of the officer, the apparent struggle with his nephew, his later violent resistance to the arrest on the street in the 1600 block of St. Stephen Street, in the cruising patrol going to Lutheran hospital and in the Lutheran hospital itself where he had to be physically restrained at the request of the doctors. “Cooper also was suffering from two gunshot wounds, one in the left elbow and one in the right ankle. It appeared that the gunshot wound inflicted by his own .22 caliber revolver during the struggle between him and his nephew which resulted in the nephew’s death. “At no time did any police officer in the case even drawl, let alone use his service revolver.

Blood on the blackjack “there were also superficial abrasions about Cooper’s head, some of which were certainly caused when the officers had to restrain him as he struggled to reach obtain possession of his .22 caliber revolver and some of which may have been inflicted by his nephew who had a homemade blackjack accessible to him, which was found on the rear seat of Cooper’s automobile. “It should be pointed out that when the officers first approached David Cooper on St. Stephen’s Street they noticed that he already has blood on his head and shirt and the blood was also found on the blackjack in the automobile. “At any rate, the abrasions were a very minor contributing factor at most since the autopsy showed no skull fracture of any sort and no blood clotting at all in the area of the brain.”

Ballistics Report 
Mr. Moylan further explained that the uncle in his first contact with patrolman Kuhn use another weapon, a 38 caliber pistol. And emptied it into the body of the police victim. Then he used a 22 caliber revolver to fire at the nephew and it was this weapon with which he himself was shot during the struggle with the younger relative, the State’s attorney said. This reconstruction of events is borne out by the finding of police ballistics expert yesterday that the 38 caliber bullets recovered from the body of patrolman Kuhn were fired from the weapon which David Cooper abandoned in the car. Ballistics findings also verified the bullets taken from the body of William Cooper were fired from a 22 caliber gun.

David Cooper Due Charge of Murder
Chief Inspector says only change in facts or alter plans -
The Police Department’s chief inspectors said last night that, barring new developments, the department expects to charge David Cooper with the murders of patrolman Robert Henry Kuhn and William Cooper early yesterday morning.
David Cooper died at 3:05 AM yesterday. Two hours after the shooting of the 23-year-old policeman and the discovery of William Cooper’s body slumped in the back seat of a car a few blocks away.
George J Murphy the chief inspector said he felt the facts that have been gathered so far in the case suggests David Cooper was responsible for the two shootings.

Await Ballistic Reports
He said that if no new facts come in late, the department expects to police murder charges against the elder Cooper. A definite decision on the charge could not be made yesterday. Because the results of the ballistics and fingerprint test essential to the investigation will not be available until today. The charge, if made, will be academic in any case. In technical language, it will be ABATED by the death of the defendant

Inspector Murphy statement came at an end of the day of intensive investigation of the shooting of patrolman Kuhn and it to death that followed it. Investigation was hampered by the fact that there were no direct eyewitnesses accounting of any of the three shootings and that all of the principles are dead.

Scene Reconstructed
however as new facts dribbled in investigating officers gradually built up a convincing picture of the scene that resulted in the shooting of patrolman Kuhn of the 3300 block of Glen arm Avenue. Police felt certain the patrolman Kuhn was shot to death with a 22 caliber revolver by David Cooper 45, of the 2900 block of Westwood Avenue. After the officer stopped him in the 3100 block of W. North Ave. about 1:15 AM for a parking violation of routine check. A few minutes later, police theorized, David Cooper shot and killed his 29-year-old nephew, William R Cooper of the 2300 block of Norfolk Street. When the younger man refused to cooperate with his uncle.

David Cooper was arrested by police less than a half-hour after the shootings. He died at Lutheran hospital at 3:05 AM following a struggle with policeman in a patrol car.

15 Bullet Holes in Body
Dr. Charles S Petit Junior assistant medical examiner, said yesterday afternoon that David Cooper died of a severe heart condition combined with the several injuries he had received. Dr. Petty said patrolman Kuhn died of gunshot wounds. He said 322 caliber bullets were found in his body, and that there were 15 bullet holes in his body. William Cooper died of bullet wounds in the head caused by 322 caliber bullets. Dr. Petty said that the bullets that killed patrolman Kuhn might have come from the same gun with which William Cooper was shot but of that he could not be certain.
Only one witness, firefighter Carlos a Down’s of the firehouse on North Avenue observed a part of the scene.

Six Or Eight Shots
He told police that he was sitting at the desk in the firehouse when he heard a shot, got up and went to the door. About 90 feet away on the south side of North Avenue he saw a man pointing a gun at the sidewalk in front of him Mr. Downs told police. He then heard six or eight shots in rapid succession. He said he thought at the time that the man was drunk and just shooting. Mr. Downs said at first he did not see what the man was shooting at. He said he saw the man with the gun get into the black and white convertible and driving east on North Avenue. Mr. Downs said the patrolman Kuhn’s gun was still in his holster as he lay on the ground. He said the officer was still alive when he got to him, “moaning” and “bleeding real bad.”

Found Car And Body
a police dragnet was thrown around the area, and a patrol car a few minutes later found William Cooper laying in the back seat of a black and white convertible in the 1600 block of St. Stephen Street. Searching the car, police found a 38 caliber automatic and a handmade blackjack. A few minutes later, officers in another patrol car apprehended David Cooper, who was running in the 2000 Block Pressbury St. the officers report they saw blood on his hand and certain when they arrested him.

He will forever be missed, but never forgotten by us his brothers and sisters of the Baltimore Police Department.. God Bless and Rest in Peace.

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More details

End of Watch 22 July, 1965
City, St. North Avenue and Ellamont Street
Panel Number 28-E: 11
Cause of Death Gunfire
Weapon - Officer's Handgun
District Worked Western

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