Honoring 6 Fallen Heroes


Police Officer Ella G. French

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

EOW: Aug. 7, 2021 | Age: 29 | Tour: 3 years

Police Officer Ella French was shot and killed while she and her partner conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle containing three subjects near the intersection of West 63rd Street and South Bell Avenue. During the traffic stop, one of the subjects opened fire, striking Officer French and her partner. Despite their wounds, the officers were able to return fire and wounded one of the subjects. Both officers were taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center where Officer French was pronounced dead. Her partner was admitted in critical condition. All three subjects in the vehicle fled the scene. Two of the subjects were arrested shortly after the incident, and a third subject was taken into custody the following day. Officer French had served with the Chicago Police Department for almost 3-1/2 years and was assigned to the Community Safety Team. She is survived by her mother and brother.


Lieutenant Larry Dean Adams

Yazoo County District 3 Volunteer Fire Department, Mississippi

EOW: Aug. 8, 2021 | Age: 65 | Tour: None

On Friday, August 6, 2021, Lieutenant Larry Dean Adams suffered a medical emergency while operating the pump panel at a vehicle fire, causing him to fall unconscious, striking his head on the side board. He was treated on scene by fellow firefighters and was then flown to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS, where he passed away on Sunday, August 8, 2021, from a brain bleed caused from striking his head.


Captain Joshua D. Laird

Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services, Maryland

EOW: Aug. 11, 2021 | Age: 46 | Tour: None

On Wednesday, August 11, 2021, Captain Joshua D. Laird responded to a residential fire. While working to extinguish the fire, he fell through the first floor into the basement. Rescue efforts were initiated and fellow emergency responders located and removed him from the structure. He was found to be in cardiac arrest and was immediately rushed to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, via Maryland State Police Aviation, but was unable to be revived from the injuries he sustained.


Firefighter/EMT Colin McFadden

Burlington Volunteer Fire Department, Connecticut

EOW: Aug. 12, 2021 | Age: 26 | Tour: None

Police Officer Mitchell Penton was struck and killed by a vehicle operated by an intoxicated driver at about 1:45 am. He was working at the scene of a vehicle collision in the northbound lanes of the North Central Expressway at Walnut Hill Lane. He was securing traffic with the emergency lights from his patrol car when a vehicle driven by an intoxicated driver, traveling at a high rate speed, hit the back of his patrol car. The collision pushed the patrol car into Officer Penton. Officer Penton was transported to Baylor University Medical Center when he died from his injuries. The driver of the vehicle that struck Officer Penton was arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter of a police officer and intoxication assault. Officer Penton had served with the Dallas Police Department for two years and was assigned to the Northeast Patrol Division. He is survived by his expectant wife and stepson.


Firefighter Derek Poole

Catawba Volunteer Fire Department, North Carolina

EOW: Aug. 9, 2021 | Age: 33 | Tour: None

On April 15, 2007, Firefighter Derek Poole was returning to the fire station in his privately owned vehicle, from the scene of an arson fire set in the woods, when he missed a stop sign at the road’s intersection and crashed into another vehicle. Firefighter Poole was ejected from the car. He passed away on Monday, August 9, 2021, from the injuries he sustained in the accident. Firefighter Poole was also a member of the West Iredell Fire Department.


EMS Paramedic Brandon Staley

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Florida

EOW: Aug. 8, 2021 | Age: 46 | Tour: None

Laura Lane Herald-Times, Bloomington, Ind. OWEN COUNTY, Ind. — An Owen County Emergency Medical Services paramedic died Sunday after losing consciousness inside an ambulance while tending to children hurt in serious crash near Gosport. "Brandon Staley passed away in the line of duty while caring for patients en route to the hospital," Owen County EMS Director Cris Lunsford said in a news release. Staley was 46 and lived in Ellettsville. According to Lunsford, Staley responded at 5:38 p.m. to the scene of an auto accident north of Gosport. Gaining access to the injured was difficult, he said, because of rough terrain at the crash site. "Two pediatric patients were transferred to the waiting ambulance, where Brandon and his partner treated their injuries while a firefighter drove them to the hospital," Lunsford said. "During the course of the transport, Brandon developed chest pain and went unconscious. Brandon was taken to IU Health Bloomington Hospital where he later died. Brandon's patients arrived safely at the hospital, where their care continued." Owen County Sheriff Sam Hobbs said he got word Sunday evening from Deputy Ed Westgate about a one-vehicle crash on Ind. 67 at Culross Road that had injured four people. Hobbs also learned Staley had died while helping the victims. "He was doing what he knows how to do, working on patients in an ambulance," Hobbs said Monday morning. "Our EMS staff is devastated, and we need everybody to reach out with prayers for them and the family. It's just a shame, you know. Life's short, and God says we're never guaranteed the next day." Staley's body was being transported to Terre Haute Regional Hospital Monday afternoon for an autopsy to determine what caused his death. Details about the Gosport crash and the condition of those hurt were not available by press time Monday.


This information is supplied by the Officer Down Memorial Page (www.odmp.org) and the U.S. Fire Administration (www.apps.usfa.fema.gov).