NHP observes 40 years since patrolman killed in line of duty
It has been 40 years since a Nevada Highway patrolman lost his life in the line of duty. On Oct. 14, 1975, Highway Patrolman Gary Gifford was shot and killed by a man who was suspected of robbing the Round Hill Lake Tahoe Branch of the First National Bank of Nevada. At the time, the NHP was only 26 years old. Gifford was the first patrolman to be killed in the line of duty.
Several NHP patrolmen, who were working at the time of the shooting gathered in Zephyr Cove on Oct. 14 to honor their fellow patrolman.
Also in attendance was Gifford’s son, James, who was 5 at the time of his father’s death.
A portion of Highway 50 from Spooner Summit to Stateline named after Gifford.
After the robbery, the suspect was stopped by Gifford just before the Cave Rock tunnel on the eastbound side. Gifford struggled with the suspect, and was shot and killed.
The suspect was able to force another man to drive him around the lake to Kings Beach where he took four people hostage.
Kenneth James Meller, 48, later surrendered. He was killed in a prison standoff on Oct. 14, 1989.