Press Releases

Patrolman Richard L. Bergquist

Patrolman Richard L Bergquist
End of Watch : April 7, 1969

Minneapolis Police Department

Minneapolis PD
Died April 7, 1969

On Monday, April 7th, after 9:00 p.m., officers responded to a burglary in progress call at E.W. Bjorlin Plumbing at 3558 Fremont Avenue North. Officer Richard Berquist was not sent to the call, but responded because he and his partner, Ellsworth Johnson, were in the area. They were the first car to arrive. As they drove on 36th Avenue North, one person fled the building eastbound on 36th Avenue. Apparently the suspect was jimmying the back door of the business, trying to steal a sink. Berquist stated he would go after that suspect. The suspect turned and fired four to five shots at Berquist, hitting him twice and the squad twice. Two other squads arrived and all the officers returned fire. The suspect died at the scene at 36th and Fremont with a gun in his hand and the crow bar next to him.

The suspect was identified as Frank Pipan, 56, Osseo. He had 14 prior felony convictions since 1932, twelve for burglary. He had been on parole from Stillwater State Prison since February, 1967. A 16-year-old accomplice was arrested three blocks away after the shooting.

Berquist died at 9:45 p.m., ten minutes after arrival at North Memorial Hospital. He was 29 years old. He was hired in Minneapolis on April 23rd, 1962, and was assigned to the North Side precinct. He had been a juvenile officer for the last year. He was survived by his wife, Sharon Mae and two children: Sharon, 4, and Mark, 7. His funeral was held at Our Lady of Victory Church at 52nd and Emerson Avenue North. He was buried in New Hope at Gethsemane Cemetery.