Patrolman John J. Shanahan

Patrolman John J. Shanahan

Jersey City Police Department, New Jersey

End of Watch Saturday, March 2, 1929

John J. Shanahan

Patrolman John Shanahan and Patrolman Walter O'Neill were accidentally shot and killed while chasing hold-up suspects.

Patrolman Shanahan was on plainclothes duty looking for several hold-up men who were committing robberies in the area. He stopped four youths and, after searching them, asked them to accompany him to the station house for questioning. As the youths were walking with Patrolman Shanahan they saw a patrolman in uniform in a traffic booth at the corner of Leonard Street and Hudson Boulevard (modern day Kennedy Boulevard). Patrolman O'Neill, also in plainclothes, was standing about 10 feet from the traffic booth.

Suddenly all of the suspects fled on foot toward the traffic booth, and one youth yelled to the uniformed patrolman, "Stop that man, he's holding us up." Patrolman Shanahan drew his weapon and fired one shot at the fleeing suspects. Upon hearing the youths cry for help and seeing Patrolman Shanahan firing at them, Patrolman O'Neill drew his weapon and ran toward them. When Patrolman Shanahan saw Patrolman O'Neill, in plainclothes, approaching with a gun, he shot and killed him. At this point, the traffic officer exited his booth, and fired at Patrolman Shanahan, striking him two times, killing him.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Accidental)

mistaken identity, plainclothes

Most Recent Reflection

View all 5 Reflections

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 87th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was murdered on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

This incident was such a terrible tragedy.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

March 2, 2012

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