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LAPD Officer Blasted Point Blank By Shotgun, Receives Purple Heart Decades Later

Published Sept. 30, 2021

On August 18th, 1966, Joseph A. Gunn, an officer working for the Las Angeles Police Department, nearly lost his life after he was shot point blank with a shotgun.


After observing a middle-aged male, later identified as 41-year-old Marphel Kelley, beating another man with a wrench, officer Gunn intervened and attempted to apprehend Kelley. Things however, took a turn for the worst, as Kelley began fleeing the area on foot. As officer Gunn pursued, Kelley approached his personal vehicle, where he then retrieved a shotgun.


Luckily, Ofc. Gunn was quick enough on his draw, where he discharged two shots, striking Kelley in the wrists. As those shots struck Kelley, his arms became limp. Still providing enough pressure to the trigger, Kelley discharged one shell, peppering Ofc. Gunn with 37 pellets. If it weren't for those two shots, who knows what fate Ofc. Gunn would have faced on that August day.


It wasn't until six decades later, Ofc. Gunn was finally honored his award of the Purple Heart from the Las Angeles Police Department.


austin marino

Published Sept. 30, 2021

On August 18th, 1966, Joseph A. Gunn, an officer working for the Las Angeles Police Department, nearly lost his life after he was shot point blank with a shotgun.


After observing a middle-aged male, later identified as 41-year-old Marphel Kelley, beating another man with a wrench, officer Gunn intervened and attempted to apprehend Kelley. Things however, took a turn for the worst, as Kelley began fleeing the area on foot. As officer Gunn pursued, Kelley approached his personal vehicle, where he then retrieved a shotgun.


Luckily, Ofc. Gunn was quick enough on his draw, where he discharged two shots, striking Kelley in the wrists. As those shots struck Kelley, his arms became limp. Still providing enough pressure to the trigger, Kelley discharged one shell, peppering Ofc. Gunn with 37 pellets. If it weren't for those two shots, who knows what fate Ofc. Gunn would have faced on that August day.


It wasn't until six decades later, Ofc. Gunn was finally honored his award of the Purple Heart from the Las Angeles Police Department.


austin marino

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