Patrolman Donald B. Cook

Patrolman Donald B. Cook

Hammond Police Department, Indiana

End of Watch Monday, January 13, 1947

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Donald B. Cook

Patrolman Donald Cook was being trained with another rookie officer by Patrolman John Gerka when they went to investigate a suspicious car parked near Kenwood School.

As Patrolman Gerka walked to the side of the auto, a man leaned out and shot him at point-blank range, hitting him in the heart with a .45-caliber bullet. Patrolman Cook, a rookie, was also shot and died two days later. The second rookie disarmed the shooter by wrestling his pistol from him, but was struck on the head by a second man and knocked to the ground.

A manhunt combed the area, then the state, looking for both suspects. Some time later, Hammond detectives arrested two suspects for the crimes. Both suspects were convicted of murder and sentenced to death. On February 23, 1949, both men were executed by electrocution.

Patrolman Cook had served with the Hammond Police Department for only four days.


  • Age 22
  • Tour 4 days
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, January 11, 1947
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Executed in 1949

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