Sergeant Gerald James Riley

Sergeant Gerald James Riley

Detroit Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Friday, December 8, 1972

Gerald James Riley

Sergeant Gerald Riley was shot and killed while attempting to stop a bank hold-up in progress.

The officer who was off duty at the time was standing in line at the bank with his two year old child when he witnessed the robbery and attempted to act. As he pulled his revolver and ordered the robber to drop his gun, the robber's accomplice whom he did not see shot him. Sergeant Riley returned fire seriously wounding the robber whom he had told to drop his gun. Sergeant Riley then collapsed on the floor of the bank. As he lay helpless on the floor the robber who had shot him walked over and shot him in the face right in front of his child. Both suspects were apprehended after officers followed the trail of blood left in the snow.

The suspect who killed Sergeant Riley was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison on March 5, 1973. He received an additional 15 to 30 years for killing a security guard during a supermarket robbery. The other suspect was sentenced to 15 to 30 years.

Sergeant Riley was posthumously promoted to sergeant.

He had been a member of the Detroit Police Department for ten years, and is survived by his wife, daughter, and five sons.


  • Age 39
  • Tour 10 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

View all 30 Reflections

I worked with Jerry at the 10th precinct. Great guy and wonderful
human being. God rest your soul.

robert marklin retired dpd
10th precinct June 1966 - August 1969

March 1, 2018

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.