On Wednesday, State Police paused to remember two troopers both killed on Feb. 13. Both were 31 years old at the time of their deaths. One of the troopers, Ernest J. Morse, was fatally shot in Trumbull.
On the evening of Feb. 13, 1953, Morse, 31, of New Haven, was on patrol on the Wilbur Cross Parkway when he spotted a car reported stolen from Massachusetts.
Trooper Morse pursued the vehicle onto the Merritt Parkway and was able to stop it in Trumbull.
As he approached the vehicle, a suspect fired a shot, striking Morse in the abdomen. Several minutes later, sailors from the Groton Sub Base found Morse lying near his car, still conscious.
He whispered portions of a license plate to the sailors and directed them to use his radio to call for help. Fellow troopers and an ambulance came to his aid, but Morse succumbed less than an hour later at Bridgeport Hospital.
The person who shot Morse was convicted of murder, sentenced to death, and was subsequently executed on July 18, 1955.
Trooper Morse was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Connecticut State Police for six years.
The other trooper, Carl Moller of Bristol, had stopped to assist a motorist on I-84 in West Hartford when he and the motorist were struck and killed by a truck on Feb. 13 1976.