TO HONOR TROOPER Joshua Miller, & TROOPER Robert Lombardo


AND HIS COMRADE Trooper Robert Lombardo 

Romans 13:1-5

1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
4 for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer.
5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience.

A Fallen Man of God, is a Fallen Hero, will never be forgotten.  Pray for his family, friends and comrades. 

June 13, 1974 - June 7, 2009

Joshua D. Miller was born June 13, 1974, to parents Walter and Peggy Miller.  Joshua graduated from Pittston Area High School in 1992, and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1993, serving honorably and achieving the rank of Corporal prior to his discharge.

Joshua enlisted with the Pennsylvania State Police on September 30, 2002, and graduated on April 16, 2003.  Upon graduation, Trooper Miller was assigned to Troop M, Bethlehem, Northampton County, and later transferred to Troop N, Swiftwater.


Bio & Incident Details

Age: 34

Tour: 10 years, 9 months

Badge # 8819

Military veteran

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 6/7/2009

Weapon: Handgun; 9 mm

Suspect: Shot and killed

Trooper Joshua Miller was shot and killed while attempting to apprehend a kidnapping suspect.

At 7:45 pm, members of the Nazareth Police Department responded to a report of a protection-from-abuse order violation involving a weapon. When they arrived, the suspect took a 9-year-old boy from his mother at gunpoint and fled the location in a vehicle, leading to a 40 mile vehicle pursuit.

The suspect's vehicle was stopped in Coolbaugh Township (Monroe County) when members of the Pennsylvania State Police utilized the PIT maneuver, causing the vehicle to crash. Following the crash, Trooper Miller and another trooper approached the car in an attempt to rescue the boy, but the suspect opened fire on the troopers striking Trooper Miller in the neck and leg, and striking his partner in the arm. The troopers were able to return fire and killed the suspect. 

While Trooper Miller and his partner were engaged in the gun battle, two other troopers were able to rescue the boy from the passenger seat of the suspect's vehicle and carried him to safety. 

Trooper Miller was transported to a local hospital where he died from his wounds. His partner was also treated and recovered from his wound.

Trooper Miller had served with the Pennsylvania State Police for six years and was assigned to the Swiftwater State Police Barracks; he had previously served with the Tunkhannock Police department for four years before joining the Pennsylvania State Police on September 30, 2002, and was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He is survived by his wife and three daughters.

On July 12, 2007 Trooper Miller, along with other members of the Pennsylvania State Police, assisted members of the New York City Police Department in the capture of two of the men who killed Police Officer Russell Timoshenko and wounded his partner on July 9, 2007 during a vehicle stop in Brooklyn, New York.

TO HONOR A SURVIVING HERO: Trooper Robert Lombardo

Published June 12, 2010

Within hours of returning to the road Wednesday after a year-long absence from the state police force, Trooper Robert Lombardo snared his first arrest - a driver suspected of DUI.

The 36-year-old Pittston man described his return to the job he loves in simple terms.

"It's like being back at work," Lombardo said Friday. "I couldn't wait to get back. I'm excited."

Before this week, Lombardo hadn't worked since the night of June 7, 2009, when he and fellow Trooper Joshua Miller found themselves in pursuit of Daniel M. Autenrieth, who had kidnapped his son. The chase ended in a hail of gunfire in Coolbaugh Township in Monroe County. Before he died in the shootout, Autenrieth shot and killed Miller and launched a bullet into Lombardo's shoulder, a wound that kept Lombardo out of work the past year as he endured physical therapy.

The events of that night will forever link the two troopers from Pittston, evident again by Friday's state police awards ceremony. Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski announced Miller and Lombardo as state Troopers of the Year, the culmination of a week that marked Lombardo's return to work and the one-year anniversary of Miller's death.

"Trooper Miller gave his life and Trooper Lombardo, although seriously injured, displayed courage and devotion to duty," Pawlowski said. "Despite the dangers, they did not swerve from the path of duty. They upheld their pledge to protect the citizens of Pennsylvania.'

On Friday, as Lombardo drove home from Hershey in anticipation of another night of duty, his police radio crackled in the background as he talked about the award. As he did earlier this year when the International Association of Chiefs of Police named him Trooper of the Year, Lombardo insisted Miller deserved the most recognition.

"I really don't consider myself to be Trooper of the Year," Lombardo said. "I consider myself to be more of a runner-up to the award. Obviously, I considered Josh to be Trooper of the Year, as he made the ultimate sacrifice."

Pawlowski also awarded Lombardo the State Police Medal of Honor - the force's highest honor and the second of Lombardo's career - and the State Police Purple Heart. Ten other municipal and state police officers were commended for their roles in the fatal chase.

Lombardo, though, would rather just work.

"The awards are nice and everything," Lombardo said. "It's not like you're going to forget the incident, but I want to move on. I don't do it for the awards, I'm not really there for the awards. I do it because I like the job."