Alexandria Police Foundation

Profiles of Courage

Private Eugene Yoakum, 1964

Private Eugene Yoakum

Eugene Yoakum was born on December 18, 1932, in Speedwell, Tennessee. The son of Robert and Myrtle Yoakum, Eugene served in the Marine Corps from 1950 to 1954. He married and on April 9, 1954, he joined the Alexandria Police Department.

In his first year, Private Yoakum was cited for his bravery in a shoot-out with supermarket burglars. In 1960, he joined the Canine Corps, and with his German shepherd partner Mucho, became one of the first police dog teams in Alexandria. With a specially-equipped collar, Mucho learned to respond to radio commands. Private Yoakum and Mucho also received publicity for their robbery apprehensions in Alexandria and in nearby Fairfax County.

On September 27, 1964, just before 2 a.m., police went to the 2900 block of Seay Street for an assault call. The suspect, Fred Stull, had struck a man who lived at the same apartment complex. Private David Largen arrived and discovered that Stull, 24, had a gun and had been drinking. He called for back-up, and Private Yoakum and Mucho arrived, joined by Private Earl Caknipe.

Stull emerged from the apartment building with a knife in his one hand. The other hand remained behind his back. Private Yoakum tried to talk to the man, but suddenly Stull brought his hidden hand forward. He had a gun and he fired at Private Yoakum, hitting him in the chest. Private Yoakum drew his own weapon but could not return fire. Stull began shooting at the other officers who had sought cover behind a car. Both officers fired several shots and Stull was killed.

Mucho watched over his fatally injured partner until Private Yoakum was taken to Alexandria Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 2:20 a.m. Mucho was later given to the Yoakum family.

Private Yoakum, 34, was survived by his wife Elizabeth, and their children, Marion, Tyrone and Sharon. He is buried at National Memorial Park in Falls Church. Yoakum Parkway was named in his memory.

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