Digital Exclusive: Remembering fallen officers in Midland, Odessa


This week, police officers throughout the nation will band together to honor their brothers and sisters in Blue.

It all began back in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the following week as Police Week.

Through time, the memorials grew as more and more officers and communities joined together to honor fallen police officers.

In the spirit of the week, we took a look back at the KMID archives to remember the fallen.

Midland Officers and Deputies

In total, the Midland Police Department has lost four officers and one deputy in the line of duty, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Officer John Perry Wyrick
End of Watch: Nov. 10, 1935

John Perry Wyrick was the first Midland Officer to fall in the line of duty. According to the ODMP, Officer Wyrick and was shot and killed while responding to a disturbance call.

Wyrick was reportedly shot and killed but managed to return fire and kill the suspect.

He served five years and was 51 years old.

Officer Bryan Scoggins
End of Watch: April 1961

MPD Officer Bryn Scoggins died as a result of a motorcycle accident.

The ODMP, Scoggins was escorting a funeral procession when he was thrown from his motorcycle and struck a curb.

He succumbed to his injuries about 10-years after the crash.

He served four years and was 32 years old.

Lt. Gordon Smith Jr.
End of Watch: Nov. 28, 1961

Lt. Gordon Smith was killed in the line of duty back in 1961.

Smith Jr. was shot and killed while chasing a sexual assault and murder suspect. The ODMP says Smith. Jr. was in the chase and eventually exchanged fire with the suspect.

Both were killed in the altercation.

Smith Jr. was also a U.S. Marine who served in WWII.

He served the MPD for 15 years and was 41 years old.

Sgt. Michael Naylor
End of Watch: Oct. 9, 2014

Sgt. Mike Naylor is the only Midland County Sheriff’s Office deputy that has been killed in the line of duty, as per the ODMP.

Sgt. Naylor was shot and killed while serving a warrant in the 3800 block of County Road 1247. Prior reports indicate that Naylor was serving the warrant but the suspect refused to come out of his home.

Sgt. Naylor was speaking to the suspect when he was shot. He was later transported to the hospital and was later pronounced dead.

Prior to joining the MCSO, Naylor also served in the U.S. Air Force.

He was 46 years old.

Nathan Hayden Heidelberg
End of Watch: March 5, 2019.

Nathan Hayden Heidelberg was killed in the line of duty just a few months ago.

Officer Heidelberg was responding to an alarm call in the 3300 block of Eagle Cove.

At the home, Heidelberg and other officers announced themselves before he was shot and killed by the homeowner, who believed someone was breaking into his home, prior reports indicate.

Heidelberg was transported to Midland memorial Hospital and was later pronounced dead by medical personnel.

A memorial service was held for Heidelberg a few days later. Police officers from across the state and even across the country traveled to the Tall City to pay their respects to the fallen MPD officer.

Heidelberg served the department for five years and was just 28 years old.

Odessa Officers,  Ector County Deputies and K9’s

In total, Odessa and surrounding Ector County has had seven officers, deputies and K9’s killed in the line of duty.

Deputy Thad Dewitt West
End of Watch: Feb. 27, 1958

Deputy Thad West was shot and killed back in 1958.

According to the ODMP, Deputy West was investigating reports for a couple trying to sell a 4-year-old child on Dotsy Avenue.

When he arrived at the couple’s apartment, the suspect shot and killed Deputy West.

Prior to joining the Ector County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy West served as a U.S. Army military policeman.

He served the ECSO for nine years and was 41 years old.

Cpl. Gordon Terry Toal
End of Watch: Aug. 19, 1982

Cpl. Gordon Terry Toal was killed in the line of duty back in the 1980’s.

The ODMP says Toal was killed in a motorcycle crash during a funeral escort.

He served with the OPD for two years and was just 36 years old.

Officer Scott Stanton Smith
End of Watch: Feb. 6, 1988

Officer Smith was killed in the line of duty back in 1988.

Officer Smith was responding to a burglary call when his motorcycle collided with another vehicle.

He was transported to the hospital and was in a coma for six month after the crash, reports indicate.

Officer Smith later died as a result of the crash.

A for OPD Officer, Chuck Moad, recently shared his connection with Officer Smith, one that will last the rest of his life.

Officer Smith served the OPD for three years and was 25 years old.

Cpl. John “Scott” Gardner and Cpl. Arlie Jones
End of Watch: Sept. 8, 2007

Corporals John “Scott” Gardner and Arlie Jones, were killed on the same day in Odessa back in 2007.

 Gardner and Jones as well as Cpl. Abel Marquez had responded to a domestic disturbance call back on Sept. 8, 2007.

When they arrived at the home, Gardner and Jones tried to make entry into a home but were unsuccessful.

They then went around to the back of the home where they were both shot and killed.

Cpl. Abel Marquez was also wounded in the shooting in 2007.

Garder served the OPD for just over four years and was 30 years old.

Jones was with the OPD for 23 years and was 48 years old.

Cpl. Abel Marquez
End of Watch: Sept. 12, 2007

Cpl Marquez was with Cpl. Gardner and Cpl. Jones when they responded to a disturbance call back on Sept. 8, 2007 in Odessa.

When they arrived at the home, Gardner, Marquez and Jones tried to make entry into a home but were unsuccessful.

They then went around to the back of the home. Marquez was shot and wounded, while Jones and Gardner were shot and killed, prior reports indicate.

Gardner and Jones were pronounced dead the same day.

Marquesz was transported to the hospital and was pronounced dead four days late, Sept. 12, 2007.

K9 Kazoe
End of Watch: Dec. 30, 2011, 2011

K9 Kazoe and his handler were chasing a suspect when they got separated, according to the ODMP. Kazoe continued to track and chase the suspect across a road where he was struck and killed.

K9 Kazoe served with the ECSO for two years and was seven years old.

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