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Sergeant Gerald James Riley | Detroit Police Department, Michigan Detroit Police Department, Michigan


Gerald James Riley

Detroit Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch: Friday, December 8, 1972

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 39

Tour: 10 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Sentenced to life

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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.

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I still remember the last time I saw Uncle Jerry at the summer reunion in Long Island at the beach. He was throwing up so high up in the air and we were dropping into the water. It was a sad day when our parents sat us down and told us he was gone and that they were going to Michigan. Thinking of all my cousins today

Agnes McCaffery
December 9, 2016


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