Patrolman Thomas Kirkham – July 2, 1869
In July 2, 1869 while attempting to control a large crowd attending a political rally, Officer Kirkham positioned himself on a swinging bridge between Mayo Island and Vauxham’s Island. The bridge suddenly collapsed, tossing many into the water below. Officer Kirkham was tossed from the bridge and was struck on the head by a falling timber. He died instantly.
Officer Richard O. Busch – March 20, 1870
Special Officer Richard Busch was shot and killed at the intersection of Broad Street and Jefferson Street as he and several other officers attempted to disperse a large group of men who were creating a disturbance. When the officers arrived at the location part of the group left the area, but many refused to leave. At around 9:00 pm several shots were fired at the officers and Officer Busch and a detective were struck. Officer Busch died at the scene but the detective recovered. Officer Busch was survived by his wife and two children. He was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery.
Captain D. G. Tourgee – April 27, 1870
Sergeant James T. Cox – April 27, 1870
Officer James M. Carter – April 27, 1870
Officer William R. Cray – April 27, 1870
Officer John Kerr – April 27, 1870
Officer Michael McCarthy – April 27, 1870
Officer John R. Meagher – April 27, 1870
Officer James A. Seay – April 27, 1870
Officer Julius Schultz – April 27, 1870
Officer James M. Walker – April 27, 1870
On April 27, 1870, a courtroom and balcony collapsed inside of the Virginia State Capitol, killing 62 people, including 12 law enforcement officers. 10 of them were members of the Richmond Police.
Following the Civil War, the United States Army General Schofield appointed George Cahoon mayor of Richmond. In January 1870, Virginia’s Governor Walker appointed a new city council, which then appointed Henry K. Ellyson mayor. However, Mayor Cahoon refused to cede the mayorship and the city was operating with two mayors and two separate police departments.
On April 27, 1870 the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals was conducting a hearing to determine which of the city’s two mayors and police departments would be considered legitimate. Because of the interest in the case, hundreds of citizens crowded into the Courtroom and balcony located in the State Capitol building. The weight of the spectators caused the structure to collapse, killing sixty two elected officials, law enforcement officers, and citizens, and injuring hundreds more. Following what became known as the Capitol Disaster, the court reconvened and ultimately ruled that the newly appointed Mayor Ellyson was the legitimate mayor and Major Poe’s police would remain in office.
Patrolman Robert D. Austin – April 11, 1898
In the late 1800’s Officer Austin was assigned to the Second District Station, then located at sixth and Marshall streets. On April 11, 1898, he was patrolling his beat in the city’s business district. He encountered two burglars breaking into a business at Fifth and Broad streets. Gunfire erupted and Officer Austin was killed. His killers were never apprehended.
Captain John F. Shinberger – July 1, 1904
On July 1, 1904, Captain Shinberger led a group of police officers who were attempting to apprehend a suspect wanted for murder. The suspect was cornered in a small house at the end of Second Street. Captain Shinberger took up a position near the back gate where he was mortally wounded by the fleeing suspect.
Officer Gerald M. Harmon – May 13, 1919
Officer Harmon was appointed to the Bureau of Police in 1918. Several months after his appointment, Officer Harmon arrested two bootleggers and walked them to the police call box at Brook Road and the Seaboard Air Line railroad tracks. As they waited for the patrol wagon to arrive, one of the suspects pulled a handgun and shot the officer in the chest. He died three months later on May 13, 1919.
Officer Washington I. Curtis – August 21, 1921
Officer Curtis was appointed to the Bureau of Police April 13, 1919. On August 21, 1921, he was patrolling his beat in the area of Fifth and Stockton Streets. He came upon a suspected bootlegger and a scuffle ensued. Officer Curtis was shot three times and died instantly. He was 28 years of age.
Sergeant J. Harvey Burke – July 28, 1925
Sergeant Burke became a Richmond police officer on February 15, 1919. In July 1925 a judge asked that he accompany a couple involved in domestic lawsuit to their house so they could retrieve personal belongings. Once at the house, the male pulled a handgun and shot the woman. Sergeant Burke was mortally wounded in his attempt to disarm the subject. Sergeant Burke died on July 28, 1925, at the age of 38. His killer was arrested and sentenced to death.
Detective Sergeant Louis Bertucci – August 10, 1925
Appointed to the Bureau of Police on October 4, 1911, Detective Louis Bertucci was promoted to sergeant in 1919 and assigned as an investigator. In August 1925 Sergeant Bertucci answered a domestic shooting call in the 1000 block of Bacon Street (this block no longer exists). He was confronted by a man who only moments before had killed his wife. The man pulled a gun and shot Bertucci. As he lay dying, Bertrucci returned fire, wounding the assailant.
Patrolman Bennie F. Williams – October 31, 1931
Patrolman Williams was appointed to the Bureau of Police July 15, 1919. In the early morning hours of October 31, 1931, Williams’ 41st birthday, he pursued a speeding automobile. Near Boulevard and Broad streets three young males jumped from the car and ran. Patrolman Williams pursued on foort. An exchange of gunfire led to the death of Patrolman Williams and the wounding of one of the suspects.
Patrolman William A. Toot – September 30, 1934
On September 30, 1934, Patrolman Toot was standing guard with two other police officers at the city jail. Two mobsters had obtained firearms and blasted their way out. Patrolman Toot was wounded and later died. He was a 28 year veteran. He had been cited for gallantry on a number of occasions during his career.
Patrolman Horace C. “Mickey” Parker – April 3, 1935
Patrolman Parker joined the Police Bureau on February 16, 1927. He was later assigned to the relatively new motorcycle squad. While on patrol in 1935, he was struck by a car at the intersection of Lady and Cary streets. He was seriously injured and died several hours later in the hospital emergency room.
Patrolman William Snead – February 5, 1937
Patrolman Snead joined the ranks of the Richmond Bureau of Police on May 1, 1920. Patrolman Snead had just completed the evening shift on February 5, 1937, and was walking along Broad Street when he encountered a burglar breaking into an East Broad Street jewelry store. He attempted to apprehend the burglar and was shot and killed. The assailant was arrested a short time later by other officers.
Patrolman John Tibbs – October 20, 1940
It was odd when 14 year veteran Patrolman Tibbs failed to check in with communications on October 20, 1940. Officers were dispatched to his to his beat to locate him. His body was found in a vacant lot in the 700 block of West Broad Street. Evidence indicated he has surprised burglars breaking into a clothing store, and they had shot and killed him. His assailants were never identified.
Patrolman Chauffeur Marvin L. Farmer – July 18, 1942
Patrolman Farmer joined the Bureau of Police on February 20, 1936. On July 18, 1942, he and a magistrate were standing in front of old First Station in the 1700 block of East Broad Street. They saw a known prostitute and a male enter an alley. They followed the subjects into the alley, surprising them. The male ran and the female pulled a knife and stabbed Patrolman Farmer. His wounds proved fatal.
Patrolman John H. Posenau – November 14, 1952
Patrolman Posenau joined the Bureau of Police on July 17, 1941. On November 14, 1952. he and his partner went to the first block of East Franklin Street to make an arrest. The suspect resisted arrest and a fight ensued. The officers succeeded in subduing the suspect until a patrol wagon arrived. However, Patrolman Posenau suffered a heart attack after the scuffle and died. He was 39.
Patrolman Clifton H. White – August 19, 1954
On September 16, 1942, Patrolman White was appointed to the Richmond Bureau of Police. He visited his doctor on August 19, 1954, because he had experienced chest pains. The doctor advised him against coming to work that night but Patrolman White’s love for the profession overruled the wisdom of his physician’s advice.; Moments after marking out of service, he advised radio he was having severe chest pains. He died of a heart attack before his fellow officers could reach him.
Patrolman James W. Crowder – September 5, 1957
On January 28, 1957, Patrolman Crowder joined the Bureau of Police. Seven months later, on September 5, 1957, he was riding with another officer in a patrol wagon. They pursued a speeding vehicle west on Hopkins Road. As they neared Holly Spring Avenue, the wagon overturned in a curve and Patrolman Crowder was killed. He was 31.
Patrolman Luther K. Nuckols – December 8, 1962
Patrolman Nuckols became a member of the Bureau of Police on June 15, 1935. On December 8, 1962, the veteran officer responded to a bar at 609 Louisiana Street in the Fulton section where a break-in was in progress. The burglar ran and was chased for a considerable distance by Patrolman Nuckols before escaping. Patrolman Nuckols walked back to the scene of the burglary, slumped to the ground, and died of a heart attack in his 27th year as a Richmond officer.
Patrolman Raymond B. Smith – October 13, 1968
Patrolman Smith was appointed a Richmond police officer on October 1, 1962. Six years later, on October 13, 1968, while making an off-duty arrest near a Brunswick and Main Street night spot, he struggled with the suspect and was fatally shot in the chest. The assailant was arrested and convicted.
Patrolman David A. Cooper – February 10, 1970
Patrolman Cooper became a Richmond Police officer on April 24, 1967. In the early morning hours of February 10, 1970, he responded to assist a fellow officer who was involved in a serious automobile accident at the intersection of First and Grace Streets. While passing through Belvidere and Broad streets, his cruiser was struck by a north-bound vehicle. Patrolman Cooper died hours later at the Medical College of Virginia Hospital.
Patrolman Harry Charlton III – June 25, 1971
Patrolman Charlton was sworn in as a member of the Richmond Bureau of Police April 2, 1962. He was recognized as an expert in traffic accident reconstruction. His fellow officers often referred to him as the walking Motor Vehicle Code. On June 25, 1971, Patrolman Charlton made a traffic stop near Ninth Street and Commerce Road. The driver, without warning, pulled a handgun and shot the officer in the chest. Patrolman Charlton died shortly thereafter.
Patrolman Vernon L. Jarrelle -August 1, 1973
“Rookie of the Year” in 1972, Patrolman Jarrelle joined the Richmond Bureau of Police on June 6, 1969. On August 1, 1973, he was fatally wounded in a shootout at a food stamp distribution center in the 200 block of West Marshall Street. Although mortally wounded, Patrolman Jarrelle returned fire killing one of his assailants. Although a police officer for only two and a half years, he had earned the Bureau’s Excellent Police Duty decoration.
Patrolman Leward R. Rich – December 13, 1974
On August 10, 1970, Patrolman Rich was appointed to the Richmond Bureau of Police. On December 13, 1974, while en-route to join another police unit in pursuit of a stolen vehicle, he lost control of his police unit at Brook Road and Westwood Avenue. The police unit struck a tree killing Patrolman Rich and his partner, Patrolman Edwin H. Stephenson, Jr. He was 28 and had received the Excellent Police Duty decoration several times during his short career.
Patrolman Edwin H. Stephenson Jr. December 13, 1974
On April 19, 1971, Patrolman Stephenson was sworn in as a member of the Richmond Bureau of Police. He was with Patrolman Leward Rich working out of the Task Force Unit. The officers died in an automobile accident at Brook Road and Westwood Avenue. Patrolman Edwin H. Stephenson, Jr. was 23.
Patrolman E. Allen Wakefield -September 27, 1975
Patrolman Wakefield joined the Police Bureau on December 15, 1969. On September 27, 1975, he was working midnight shift out of the PACE Precinct and was riding a small lightweight motorcycle. While responding to a call about a suspicious man in a house, he was struck by a milk truck at the intersection of Grove and Boulevard. He was fatally injured.
Patrolman Michael P. Connors – November 13, 1979
Patrolman Connors came to work for the Richmond Bureau of Police on January 3, 1978. On November 13, 1979, he was working the midnight tour of First Precinct. He observed four men in a speeding vehicle run a stop sign. He pursued the vehicle, stopping it at Linden and Main Streets. One of the car’s occupants shot Patrolman Connors several times, killing him instantly. The officer was not aware that the individuals had just robbed a convenience store.
Detective George R. Taylor – June 15, 1986
On September 10, 1973, Detective Taylor was sworn in as a member of the Richmond Bureau of Police. On June 15, 1986, Father’s Day, and the day before his birthday, Detective Taylor was working evening shift. He stopped a vehicle near the intersection of Davis and Kensington Avenues. The driver shot the detective as he approached the car. He was struck in the heart and died instantly. His assailant. who was a parolee, was convicted of capital murder.
Patrolman Thomas “Mongo” McMahon – October 14, 1998
Officer McMahon joined the Richmond Bureau of Police on January 30, 1978. On October 14, 1998, he joined a vehicle pursuit that began in Henrico County. The fleeing suspect fired numerous times at Officer McMahon, striking him in the lower abdomen just below his vest. He died at the scene. The suspect was cornered a short distance away in his vehicle. During a short standoff, he was shot and killed when he made an aggressive move towards officers.
Patrolman Douglas Wendel – July 30, 2003
Officer Wendel joined the Richmond Police Department December 15, 1997. He received more than 25 commendations for his dedication to duty. He also received a Meritorious Police Duty award. On July 30, 2003, Officer Wendel responded to a call reference drug dealing. During the investigation, Officer Wendel was shot. He was transported to MCV Hospital where he died.