Special Officer Vernon L. Holzer

Special Officer Vernon L. Holzer

Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Police Department, Railroad Police

End of Watch Tuesday, August 21, 1923

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Vernon L. Holzer

Special Officer Vernon Holzer succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained one month earlier as he confronted a young hobo riding on the roof of a boxcar on freight train No. 397.

The train was leaving Wichita, on route to Arkansas City, Kansas, when the shooting occurred.

Officer Holzer, a rider on the train, found the suspect sitting on top of the train. He told the youth it would be necessary to purchase a ticket at Mulvane if he wished to ride farther. The suspect asked him how much it would be to Arkansas City and after being told, reached into his pocket as if to produce the necessary fare. Without warning, he began firing at Officer Holzer with a revolver. The first shot entered the officer's jaw, shattering the bone and blinding him. The youth then fired three times at the wounded man's head. Officer Holzer fired four times wildly to attract the attention of the crew and dropped flat on the car. He was rushed to the hospital at Mulvane. The suspect was charged with first-degree murder and was ultimately sentenced to three to five years in prison.

A month later Officer Holzer died following two hemorrhages within 24 hours. He was survived by his wife and infant son.


  • Age 30
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Kansas
  • Incident Date Wednesday, July 25, 1923
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to up to five years


Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace knowing that no passage of time will ever erase your service and sacrifice.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

August 21, 2020

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