Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 1 year
Badge # Not available
Weapon: Handgun; Pistol
Offender: Sentenced to life
Patrolman Joseph Tracz was shot and killed and his partner was seriously injured after they stopped a vehicle, occupied by two men, for running a stoplight.
As Patrolman Tracz's partner was speaking with the driver, the driver suddenly opened fire with a pistol hitting him in the groin, chest, and mouth. His passenger then shot Patrolman Tracz. Patrolman Tracz's partner managed to crawl back to his cruiser and radio for help.
In May of 1972, the suspects who had been at large, were arrested after they robbed a bank near the scene of the shooting. A year later both suspects were convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Patrolman Tracz's killer was denied parole on November 9, 2009. His next parole hearing is in 2019.
Patrolman Tracz had served with the Cleveland Police Department for less than 1 year. He was a Vietnam Veteran. He is survived by his wife and unborn child.