Remembering Two Friends and Heroes

By Detective Ken Evans
Prince George’s County (MD) Police Department

This photo was taken on 6-21-08 at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. That day was the third anniversary of the end of watch of our fallen team member, Sgt. Steve Gaughan (#1734, EOW 6/21/05) of the Prince George’s County (MD) Police Department, District VI, Special Assignments Team.

Sgt. Gaughan was killed in the line of duty when he was shot by a suspect during a traffic stop bailout. The killer was apprehended on scene and later convicted in court. The defendant is currently serving life without parole for Sgt. Gaughan’s murder.

This photo would be the last one taken of the Special Assignments Team as a group. Tragically, Sgt. Richard Findley (#2515) was killed in the line of duty just six days later, on 6-27-08, when he attempted to stop two suspects driving a stolen truck.

The driver intentionally ran over Sgt. Findley to escape as Sgt. Findley was approaching the truck from the front and Cpl. Kelvin Scruggs was approaching the truck from behind. After Sgt. Findley was struck, Cpl. Scruggs rushed to his aid, while I chased the defendants in a vehicle pursuit and again on foot after both defendants bailed out of the truck and ran into a nearby apartment complex. I cornered the defendants in an apartment building and kept them at bay until backup units arrived and took both defendants into custody.

The members of the Special Assignments Team in the photo are as follows (clockwise, starting top right, at 1 o’clock): Sgt. Richard Findley, Cpl. Kelvin Scruggs, Sgt. Jeff Schreiber, Pfc. James Beasock, and Cpl. Ken Evans.

I worked with Sgt. Gaughan for four years before he was killed. Sgt. Findley and I worked together for seven years before he was taken. Both of these men were very close to me both professionally and personally, and I considered them brothers and family in every sense of the word. There is not a day that goes by that they are not thought of at least a 100 times. My desk is plastered with reminders of them, in many personal photos of all of us together and in their names etched on paper at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.