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Detective Ernest Purgatoria | Springfield Police Department, Illinois Springfield Police Department, Illinois


Ernest Purgatoria

Springfield Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch: Monday, July 31, 1933

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 26

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Rifle

Offender: Released after 10 years

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Detective Ernest Purgatoria was shot and killed while he and several other officers investigated a call at a local hotel.

An elderly man was believed to have a young girl in his room and the girl's father wanted the police to retrieve her. When the detectives knocked on the man's door and identified themselves, he replied that he would shoot the first person through the door. One of the officers returned to the police station to obtain tear gas and then returned to the scene.

The officers kicked the door in, but the man stuck a rifle through the opened door and fired a shot, striking Detective Purgatoria. The man then climbed down a rope ladder to another room and then exited to the hotel lobby where he was arrested by other officers.

The suspect was convicted of manslaughter and served 10 years in prison.

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Rest in Peace, Detective Purgatoria. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169
January 29, 2013


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