Bio & Incident Details
Tour: Not available
Badge # Not available
Cause: Gunfire (Accidental)
Incident Date: 10/6/1924
Officer Joseph Pedraza and a military police officer were dispatched to the 500 block of East Commerce Street to a dance hall to investigate a disturbance. During the course of the investigation the military police officer fired a bullet that killed Officer Pedraza.
There were conflicting reports of the shooting from eyewitnesses. Some who saw the incident claim that the MP had fired his pistol when he drew the gun from his holster and wheeled around suddenly. Others said that he fired a shot at the ground. Some, however, alleged that he had fired the gun straight at Officer Pedraza. One witness testified that the MP had been frightened by the men at the dance and had fired a shot into the pavement in the hope of dispelling the crowd. A policeman carefully examined the pavement and could find no evidence of a ricocheted bullet imprint.
Physicians later dispelled the allegation that the bullet had ricocheted off the pavement and hit Officer Pedraza, citing the fact that the bullet's path of entry was not consistent with that scenario. The MP was arrested and charged with murder. It is unknown if he was ever convicted.
Officer Pedraza died while en route to Santa Rosa Hospital. He was survived by his wife and six children. He was buried at the San Fernando Cemetery Number 2. He had served on the police force since 1912. His wife was ill and they had an unnamed new born when he was killed. Soldiers at Fort Sam Houston raised $1,500 to pay off her mortgage and all debts.