On this day in Baltimore City Police History we lost our brother Detective John H. Richards based on the following: On August 31st 1871 at 7:45pm Detective Richards was attempting to question a young man about a stolen satchel. The suspect was seen in front of the store on Franklin Street when Detective Richards called out to him. The suspect suddenly produced a revolver, causing the unarmed Detective Richards to pull out his club and close the distance between the two. One shot was fired by the suspect, striking Detective Richards' arm a second was fired striking him in his upper chest. Those in the area heard two shots from a small pistol, which had resulted in seriously wounding Detective John Richards. A group of citizens observed the shooting and started to chase the suspect. The suspect attempted to shoot at the group but the gun misfired.

Witnesses are unsure of the events that followed, some say, after the gun misfired the suspect went to examined the gun to determine the cause of the misfired, he pulled the trigger and accidentally shot himself in the head; Others say he was cornered and once he realized he had no place to go, the subject turned the gun on himself. In either case the suspect died that day from a single shot to the head.

Detective Richards was taken to his home where his condition grew increasingly worse until this date back in 1871 when he succumbed to the wounds he received that day.

Detective Richards was survived by his wife.

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 14 September, 1871
City, St. Franklin Street
Panel Number 45-W: 24
Cause of Death Gunfire
District Worked Criminal Investigation Division

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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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