Richard L. Bergquist
|OFFICER RICHARD L. BERGQUIST|
|Appointed April 23,1962|
|Died April 7, 1969|
|Both a Minneapolis policeman and a burglar were shot to death Monday, April 7,1969, night in an exchange of gunfire outside a plumbing shop in North Minneapolis.The slain policeman was Richard Bergquist, 29, a Juvenile Division officer. He lived at 4851 Bryant Ave. N.
The other dead man was Frank Pipan, 56, of Osseo.
Pipan and a 16-year-old boy were involved in an attempted burglary at E. W. Bjorlin Plumbing, 3558 Fremont Ave. N. Juvenile officers are not usually dispatched to answer to such calls, but Bergquist and his partner, Ellsworth Johnson, 40, were in the neighborhood and their car was the first to arrive at the shop. As it pulled up to the curb on 36th Ave. N. next to the corner where the plumbing shop was located, one person fled east on 36th Ave.
Bergquist jumped from behind the wheel to pursue him. According to Officer Johnson, Pipan, who had been jimmying the back door of the shop, opened fire on Bergquist, firing “four or five times.” It was never made clear whether Bergquist, who was armed, had fired at Pipan.
Two of the bullets hit Bergquist and two hit the squad car. Bergquist fell to the ground a few feet away in a grassy area behind the shop. He had been hit twice in the chest.
During the shooting another squad car pulled up to the curb and patrolmen Thomas Houle and Bruce MacDonald shot Pipan who was running along the sidewalk on 36th Ave. N. toward Fremont Ave. Pipan was hit by six .38 caliber slugs and was dead at the scene. Neither officer was hurt.
Police later found a crow bar next to Pipan’s body and a pistol in his hand.
Meanwhile, Bergquist was rushed to North Memorial Hospital where he died at 9:43 p.m., 10 minutes after arrival.
Funeral services were held at Our Lady of Victory Church at 52nd and Emerson N. in North Minneapolis with burial at Gethsemane Cemetery.