Patrolman James Smith

Patrolman James Smith

Kansas City Police Department, Missouri

End of Watch Thursday, June 14, 1928

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James Smith

Patrolman James Smith was shot and killed by robbery suspects.

Three bank robbers attempted a theft in broad daylight at the Home Trust Company on Walnut Street. Tear gas was tossed inside by the police, forcing them to flee. In the process, they wounded five bystanders, and an elderly man suffered a fatal heart attack from the shock.

Patrolman Smith and his partner were working their posts at 11th and Walnut, and 10th and Walnut, when the robbers rushed by. Patrolman Smith was shot and fatally wounded, and his partner was also wounded as he was directing traffic. The robbers were caught several days later. All three suspects were hanged July 25, 1930.

Patrolman Smith had been employed with the Kansas City Police Department for 14 years.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 14 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Executed in 1930

Most Recent Reflection

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I am the granddaughter of James H. Smith. My mother, Hortense Velma Smith, was one of five children born to him and my grandmother who lived with our family for some time when I was growing up. I was not fortunate to know him since he was killed in the line of duty before I was born. However, I grew up hearing how the citizens of Kansas City loved "Happy" Smith. I visit the K.C. Police Memorial occasionally and have gone to Jefferson City to view the police memorial there. My husband and I have gone to Union Cemetery where he is buried to try to locate his grave site but have not been able to fine it. Hopefully, the Union Cemetery Historical Society will be able to locate it and contact me.

Karen S Sutton

April 25, 2018

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