Detective Sergeant John T. Donohue

Detective Sergeant John T. Donohue

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Friday, February 16, 1923

John T. Donohue

Detective Sergeant John Donohue was shot and killed by an emotionally disturbed man.

Detective Donohue heard several shots shots in front of West 135th Street near 5th Avenue, Manhattan. Detective Donohue and two other policemen went to investigate. They observed a probationary patrolman firing shots into a crowd of people. Detective Donohue leaped to seize the suspect's gun and the suspect shouted “I’m a Policeman” and fired again. Detective Donohue was struck with one of the shots. The two other policemen then exchanged shots with the suspect. The suspect was struck six times and died two days later.

Detective Donohue was taken to the hospital where he remained for some time. He was released back to his home, but died from his wound four months later.

Detective Donohue had served with the New York City Police Department for 18 years and was assigned to the 3rd Detective District of the Detective Division. He was survived by his wife and seven children.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 18 years
  • Badge 423

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Sunday, October 1, 1922
  • Weapon Handgun; .25 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

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John T. Donahue was my great grandfather. My grandmother was 10 when he passed. We were always told that he was shot by a drunken sailor. I don't know if it was because my grandmother was mistaken or maybe she didn't want us to have bad feelings about police officers. She passed in 1995 so I guess we will never know. We also didn't know that he had survived for 4 months after the shooting. Thank you for posting what happened happened to my great grandfather.

Laura Lane
great grand daughter

January 6, 2012

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