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Remembering Trooper Morse, Killed in Trumbull in 1953

Morse was fatally shot after a motor vehicle stop on Feb. 13, 1953.

The perils of police work never change. The year may have been 1953, but it could still happen today.

On Feb. 13, 1953, Connecticut State Trooper Ernest J. Morse (nicknamed "Moose") was shot and killed after stopping a reportedly stolen vehicle on the Wilbur Cross Parkway.

The driver shot him once in the abdomen and passersby called for help. Morse later died in Bridgeport City Hospital, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

A passing priest gave him his last rites.

In an article, a relative recalled that Morse once helped deliver a baby.

The shooter, John Donahue, 20, of Arlington, Mass., was later arrested after a chase that ended in Greenwich. He was convicted of first-degree murder and was executed on July 18, 1955.

According to the Connecticut State Police Museum, 20 troopers and auxiliary troopers have been killed in the line of the duty since 1922.

There is a memorial for fallen troopers at the State Police Academy in Meriden.

Tom Pieragostini February 15, 2013 at 01:35 PM
Morse pursued the car on the Merritt Parkway into Trumbull before he was able to stop the vehicle near Route 8. The section of Nichols Avenue from the Stratford-Trumbull town line at Hawley Lane to Huntington Turnpike in Trumbull is known as the Trooper Ernest Morse Memorial Highway.

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