Today, we remember fallen San Jose Police Officers Gordon Silva and Gene Simpson. On January 20, 1989, Simpson and Silva were killed in a firefight with a mentally ill pedestrian who wrestled Simpson's gun away. Below is an account of this terrible tragedy that was published in the Mercury News following their deaths.
On the night of November 15, 1950 Officer Covelesk was working a midnight walking beat in the downtown area. Officer Covalesk located a door at 42 East San Fernando that had been pried open. As Officer Covelesk entered the building, the suspect, who had been hiding inside, opened fire from 4-5 feet away striking Officer Covalesk twice in the chest. As he was going down, Officer Covalesk drew his revolver and returned fire 6 times striking the suspect twice. The suspect then stood over the still-conscious Officer Covalesk and fired one more round killing him.