1949 - 1989 Age 39 Tour 17 years
We Honor the Sacrifice He Made
On January 20, 1989, Officer Gene Simpson was assigned to work the downtown area on day shift. Shortly before noon, Officer Simpson received a call of a homeless male acting strangely and causing a disturbance at Fifth and Santa Clara Streets. Upon arrival, Officer Simpson made contact with the suspect.
The suspect immediately attacked Officer Simpson and during the struggle, both fell to the ground. The suspect disarmed Officer Simpson forcing Officer Simpson to run and take cover. Officer Simpson then broadcasted that the suspect had his gun and was firing at him.
Officer Simpson then tracked the suspect so he could direct incoming units. At some point, the suspect realized that Officer Simpson was nearby and started to chase him around cars while shooting at him. Officer Simpson was hit and went down. The suspect fired again at close range killing him instantly.
Numerous officers responded to the scene and were confronted by the suspect firing at them. In the thirty-second gun battle that ensued, the suspect was struck numerous times. Three of the rounds fatally wounded the suspect. As the gun battle ended, Officer Gordon Silva was located down on the sidewalk. Officer Silva was transported to San Jose Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Officer Gene Simpson was the eighth and Officer Gordon Silva was the ninth San Jose Police Officer killed in the line of duty.