Law Enforcement Commemorates 25th Anniversary of Deadly Shooting
Three Law Enforcement Officers Honored as Service Martyrs
This Friday, November 22, 2019, marks a tragic day in law enforcement history. Two special agents and one police sergeant were killed in the line of duty. Twenty-five years ago, on November 22, 1994, FBI Special Agents Martha Dixon-Martinez and Michael John Miller and Metropolitan Police Department (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 the MPD will host a wreath laying ceremony at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial located at E Street and 5th Street NW.
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.
“Law enforcement officials work in a dangerous profession but are committed to making sacrifices for the good of the community and for the protection of strangers,” said MPD Chief of Police Peter Newsham. “The tragic deaths of Hank, Martha, and Michael are a solemn reminder of how vulnerable members of the law enforcement community are sometimes.”
“We remember Special Agent Dixon-Martinez, Special Agent Miller, and Sergeant Daly today and every day,” said Assistant Director in Charge Timothy R. Slater. “They are among our many honorable brothers and sisters in law enforcement who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in carrying out their duties. We will never forget what happened on November 22, 1994, and the dedication and service that these three service martyrs demonstrated for our community.”
The memorial service this Friday, November 22, will bring together the families and former FBI and MPD colleagues of these 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. In 1992, Miller rejoined the FBI 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 retired from the Bureau 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 through the FBI's Wall of Honor so that their ultimate sacrifice will always be remembered. MPD officers are commemorated on MPD's online memorial.