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November 19, 2014

Law Enforcement Commemorates 20th Anniversary of Deadly Shooting

This Saturday, November 22, 2014, marks a tragic day in law enforcement history when two special agents and one police sergeant were killed in the line of duty. Twenty years ago, on November 22, 1994, FBI Special Agents Martha Dixon-Martinez and Michael John Miller and MPD Police Sergeant Henry Joseph “Hank” Daly were shot and killed inside MPD’s Headquarters building by a lone gunman.

The FBI’s Washington Field Office (WFO) and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) will host memorial services honoring these service martyrs on Friday, November 21, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Church located at 619 10th Street NW in Washington, D.C. A wreath laying ceremony at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial located at E Street and 5th Street NW will immediately follow the service at St. Patrick’s Church.

At approximately 3:15 p.m., on November 22, 1994, gunman Bennie Lee Lawson entered the “cold case” squad room on the third floor of MPD Headquarters and opened fire with a TEC-9 assault weapon. During the exchange of fire, FBI Special Agents Dixon-Martinez and Miller and MPD Sgt. Daly were killed. FBI Special Agent John Kuchta was shot and seriously wounded, and a 15-year-old boy was shot in the leg. In the week prior, Lawson had been questioned as a suspect in a triple homicide. Lawson, who died of gunshot wounds sustained during the incident, left handwritten notes at his home indicating that his intended targets were the commander of the police department’s homicide squad and his investigators.

“The killing of three law enforcement members two decades ago in MPD headquarters was a terrible tragedy and is a solemn reminder of how vulnerable members of law enforcement are,” said Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier. “We will never forget that fateful day and our members who enter our headquarters, which was renamed the Henry J. Daly Building, will never forget the lives that were lost.”

“Twenty years ago, we lost three of our own during this deadly rampage,” said Andrew G. McCabe. “In the wake of this shooting, and sadly the many active shooter incidents across the country since, it is important for us to reflect on those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in carrying out their duties and continue to honor our brothers and sisters in law enforcement and remember their dedication to protect and serve their community.”

The memorial service this Friday, November 21, will bring together the families and former FBI and MPD colleagues of these three service martyrs.

Biographies of Service Martyrs:

Sergeant Hank Daly, 51, was born in Germany and educated in Bayside, Queens, New York. Daly served in the Marine Corps for five and a half years, joined the Metropolitan Police Department in 1966, and had 28 years of service with MPD at the time of his death. He was assigned to MPD’s Homicide Branch in 1981 and received a total of 27 commendations during his assignment from the private sector, federal and local government officials, MPD’s Chief of Police, and the mayor. Daly was appointed to be the first supervisor of the Homicide Cold Case squad in 1992. Sergeant Daly was survived by his wife, Mary Ann, and two adult children, Steven and Elizabeth.

Special Agent Martha Dixon-Martinez, 35, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was raised with her seven brothers and sisters in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Dixon-Martinez received her undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1982 and worked as a forensic chemist for the Arkansas State Crime Lab. She joined the FBI in 1987 and, while assigned to the Knoxville Field Office, became a technically trained agent and the first female SWAT team member for that field office. Dixon-Martinez came to WFO in 1992 and worked drug cases, violent crimes, and cold cases. Dixon-Martinez was a founding member of WFO’s Evidence Response Team, which was renamed the Dixon-Martinez Evidence Response Team in her honor. Six weeks before Special Agent Dixon-Martinez’s death, she married WFO Special Agent Jorge “George” Martinez.

Special Agent Michael John Miller, 41, was born in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and lived in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, with his family at the time of his death. Miller received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and was a 1978 graduate of Georgetown University School of Law. He joined the FBI in 1984 and worked in the Oklahoma City Field Office and FBI Headquarters before he resigned to practice law in 1990. But the FBI remained his work passion and, in 1992, Miller rejoined and became part of WFO. Special Agent Miller was survived by his wife, Wanda, and two children, Benjamin and Dale Emily.

John Kuchta survived the shooting and continues to serve as an FBI supervisory special agent.

FBI and MPD honor special agents and officers killed in the line of duty as the result of a direct adversarial action. FBI agents are memorialized at FBI Headquarters Hall of Honor and at field offices so that their ultimate sacrifice will always be remembered. MPD officers are commemorated at http://mpdc.dc.gov/page/memorial-mpdc-officers-killed-line-duty.

Related story:
- Honoring the Fallen: 20 Years Since Shooting Killed Two Agents, Police Sergeant