Bio & Incident Details
Tour: Not available
Badge # Not available
Incident Date: 3/9/1948
Weapon: Handgun; Pistol
Suspect: Executed in 1950
Patrolman Joseph Chmelynski was fatally shot by a burglary suspect after he had been arrested. Patrolman Chmelynski and another officer caught two men in a house they had broken into while the owners were away on vacation. The officers handcuffed the suspects together and were escorting them to the patrol car when one of them produced a pistol and shot both officers. The other officer crawled to the car and called for help as the suspects fled on foot.
Hours later the suspects were spotted in South Park by three detectives. One of the suspects opened fire with a sub machine gun when ordered to halt, wounding all three detectives and critically wounding a citizen who was standing nearby. Nine hours later the suspects were captured as they got out of a taxi in New Eagle. The cab driver had signaled police that something was wrong in his cab.
Both suspects were found to be responsible for numerous burglaries. The suspect who shot Patrolman Chmelynski was convicted of his murder and sentenced to death on September 29, 1948. He was executed in the electric chair on January 9, 1950. The other suspect received a lengthy prison term for several counts of burglary.
Patrolman Chmelynski was a WWII and a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross.