Officer Daniel Pratt
On the night of Sept. 3, 1988, Officer Pratt and his partner, Officer Veronica Delao, were driving an undercover blue Iroc Camaro and on stakeout at the Pine Liquor Store in South Los Angeles in Rollin’ 60s Crip neighborhood when they heard what they thought were two shotgun blasts.
They then heard rapid gunfire and within five seconds saw a car’s headlights. This same vehicle had been involved minutes earlier in a drive-by shooting which left three people wounded. They radioed to their supervisor for permission to follow the car and the chase began.
The chase ended up at the corner of Florence and Crenshaw streets, at the Chevron gas station and adjacent car wash on the north-east corner, where the two officers parked their car for cover. As Officer Pratt called for citywide back up, and requested an “airship,” the two suspects in the car made an abrupt u-turn, coming back at the two officers.
As bullets from the suspects’ AR-15 assault weapon started to hit the car, Pratt returned fire. As he fired the last round from his 9 mm service weapon, he took a fatal round, dying instantly.
Kirkton Moore, an alleged member of the Harvard Park Brims, was arrested and charged with the murder of Pratt. Because Pratt was driving an undercover vehicle and never identified himself as a police officer, Moore never knew he was firing upon LAPD officers.
Officer Pratt was eulogized at his funeral by his little brother Brian, at that time an officer with the Upland Police Department. He told the audience, “If I would live to be half the man and officer he was . . . he was unparalleled in his family and professional life. He was a good cop, a cop’s cop.”
Chief Daryl Gates described Officer Pratt as being in the top one percent of personnel in the Los Angeles Police Department.
Officer Pratt was laid to rest Sept. 12, 1988 in a heroes’ funeral with his family and many friends and officers whose lives he touched at his side. He was just 30 years old.
He was survived by his pregnant wife, Andria; daughter, Amanda; sons, Danny Jr. and Nicholas; and unborn daughter, Heather, who was born on Feb. 7, 1989. Also surviving him were his parents, Joyce and Roy Pratt Sr., four brothers, three sisters, and a host of other loved ones.
Officer Pratt’s brother, Brian, is presently a lieutenant with the Los Angeles Police Department; and his brother-in-law (Andria’s brother), Jim Deaton, is a detective with the same department.
The two suspects turned themselves in on October 27, 1988 after they were profiled on the television program America’s Most Wanted. Raylene Brooks, 17 at the time of the incident, was the driver of the car that was involved in the shooting. She had no prior record. She was tried as an adult and convicted of First Degree Murder of a Peace Officer. She was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, with the possibility of parole in 12 years. Her approximate release date from prison is 2006.
Kirkton Moore, then 27 years old, the accussed shooter in the confrontation, had previous arrests for robbery, ADW, drug sales, and battery on a police officer and had just been released on parole on Dec. 18, 1987. He was a member of the Harvard Park Brims, a blood gang from the Harvard Park area of South Los Angeles. He was eventully convicted of First Degree Murder of a Peace Officer and received two life sentences without the possibility of parole.