On this day in Baltimore Police History 1955, we lost our brother Sergeant James Purcell to gunfire based on the following;

Sergeant Purnell was shot twice with his own service revolver on a Sunday morning 23 Oct 1955 during a scuffle with, Burglar Ronald A. King, in a house at 134 W. Lanvale street in the Central District. King was killed as he was trying to escape and ran into Officers Leroy Prediger, and Richard Doda. The paroled convict King was still armed with Sgt. Purcell’s service revolver and as such, was fired on by Prediger and Doda. The two Northwest officers were charged with King’s death, but later released to the custody of their Captain, Millard Horton, by Judge Joseph Byrnes following a Habeas Corpus Action. ASA Preston A. Pairo Jr. reported that an investigation had thus failed to show which of the two had fired the shot that caused King's death... in 1955 they didn’t have today’s technology (or apparent common sense, as these officers shouldn’t have been arrested, they should have been awarded a medal) Sergeant Purcell was acting Officer at the time of his death due to an incident that occurred while working the cell block. Commissioner Hepbron forgave him of the cell block incident and obtained the permission of Governor Theodore McKeldin to restored Purcell’s Sergeant powers. During his time as a officer/sergeant Purcell had been awarded several commendations for his hard work and willingness to put the job before himself.

As his brothers and sisters of the Baltimore Police Department we will not let him be forgotten, His service Honored the City of Baltimore, and the Baltimore Police Department may he rest in peace, and may God bless him.

More details

Name Description
End of Watch 24 October, 1955
City, St. 134 W. Lanvale street
Panel Number 6-W: 12
Cause of Death Gunfire
District Worked Northwestern

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Copies of: Baltimore Police Department class photos, pictures of officers, vehicles, equipment, newspaper articles relating to our department. Also wanted Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, Hot Sheets Reports, and or Brochures. Information on retired or deceased officers, fallen or injured officers and anything that may help us to preserve the history and proud traditions of this agency.
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