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Officer Joseph J. Pedraza | San Antonio Police Department, Texas San Antonio Police Department, Texas

Officer

Joseph J. Pedraza

San Antonio Police Department, Texas

End of Watch: Tuesday, October 7, 1924

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 44

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire (Accidental)

Incident Date: 10/6/1924

Weapon: Officer's handgun

Suspect: Not available

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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.

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To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past. Your heroism and service is honored today, the 89th anniversary year of your death. I am privileged to be among the first to leave a tribute to you. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service.

My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

I was touched that the soldiers at Ft. Hood acted so nobly and helped the officer's widow and child so much.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered. Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Lasater Loya
mom of fallen officer Larry Lasater
November 3, 2013

 

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