David W. Mack

Appointed January 8,1968
Died November 2, 1986 
On December 13, 1979, Sergeants Bob Skomra and Jeff Grates of the 6th precinct Property Crimes Unit needed assistance in executing several search warrants. Sergeant Duane Larson (6th pct.) and Sergeants DAVE MACK, Jim Murphy, Harry Baltzer and Mike Strauss of the Narcotics Unit were recruited to assist them with the search warrants.

The first warrant they attempted was at 2807 Pillsbury Avenue South to recover stolen property. They had information that the suspect at this residence, Riley Housley III, was also involved in narcotics violations. After repeatedly ringing the doorbell and knocking on the front door of this dwelling, the officers were convinced that no one was inside. The decision was made to do a forced entry on the side door. After several attempts to kick the door open, the officers found it necessary to use a sledge hammer on the door before it would yield.

Once the door was opened, a number of officers, led by SGT. MACK, entered the darkened dwelling. The announcement was made several times, “Police officers – we have a search warrant.” Suddenly a rapid succession of shots rang out, with one of them striking Sgt. Skomra in the abdomen. Skomra quickly exited the house and was aided by other officers.

At 1448 hours a transmission came into the MPD complaint room, “Squad 695 Emergency, 2807 Pillsbury, OFFICER SHOT AND DOWN, CODE THREE.” Simultaneously, the suspect Housley was on the telephone with the complaint room saying, “Get the police to 2807 Pillsbury, I just shot someone breaking into my house.” Officers could hear the suspect on the phone calling for the police, and they eventually convinced Housley that they were the police and he then threw down his gun and surrendered.

At this point the officers found SGT. MACK lying on his back on the kitchen floor. He was unconscious and had suffered bullet wounds to his lower abdominal area and to his neck. Officers on the scene administered first aid to both of the wounded
officers until the ambulance arrived.

Sgt. Skomra recovered from his wounds and eventually returned to duty. SGT. MACK suffered severe brain damage and was in a coma for approximately 22 months. SGT. MACK amazed his doctors by recovering consciousness, although paralyzed and unable to speak, he eventually learned how to communicate by means of an alphabet board.

Riley Housley III was charged with two counts of attempted murder in the second degree. Housley maintained that he did not know SGT. MACK and the others were police officers when they came into his house. The jury found Housley guilty of first degree assault and he was sentenced to not more than two years. The sentence was then stayed pending appeal and Housley was released on bail. After two years the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed his conviction, ruling that the prosecutors had not
proven beyond a reasonable doubt that he was not acting in self defense. This reversal made any further prosecution unobtainable. Housley never did a day for his crime.

On November 2, 1986 at 1855 hours, SGT. DAVID MACK died. SGT. MACK was 43 years old at the time of his death. Doctors determined that SGT. MACK’s death was caused by complications from the gunshot wounds he had received on December 13, 1979.

According to Deputy Chief Leonard Brucciani, SGT. DAVID MACK was a good narcotics officer and a team player. It’s one of the unfortunate things of the job. There was never any doubt about his bravery, and he was respected by everyone who knew

SGT. DAVID MACK was memorialized by his fellow officers at St. Anthony’s Church during a formal mass. After the mass,
the mile and one-half long funeral procession went to Fort Snelling where SGT. MACK was laid to rest. Officers who worked with Sgt. MACK and officers from around the state came to pay their last respects to a fallen comrade.