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Corporal John Michael Frontczak | Montgomery County Police Department, Maryland Montgomery County Police Department, Maryland

Corporal

John Michael Frontczak

Montgomery County Police Department, Maryland

End of Watch: Monday, March 29, 1976

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 32

Tour: 9 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 3/26/1976

Weapon: Shotgun

Offender: Sentenced to life

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Corporal John Frontczak and Captain James Daly were shot and killed as they attempted to arrest a man who had just robbed a Potomac Savings and Loan Association office. Minutes after the teller phoned in a description of the suspect and his vehicle to police, Corporal Frontczak radioed that he had spotted the car on Democracy Boulevard near the Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. Captain Daly joined Corporal Frontczak in pursuing the vehicle into a field near the shopping center. As the two officers got out of their vehicles and drew their weapons, the suspect opened fire with a shotgun, striking Corporal Frontczak in the face and Captain Daly in the head. Each officer fired once at the suspect before collapsing.

A third officer discovered the wounded officers and called for medical assistance. Both were rushed to Suburban Hospital in extremely critical condition. Captain Daly was removed from life support on March 28 after doctors determined that his injuries had rendered him brain dead. Corporal Frontczak succumbed to his injuries 21 hours later.

Two days after the shooting, a man informed police that his son, a high school drop-out who was AWOL from the Army, might be involved. The South Carolina Highway Patrol placed the suspect under arrest several hours later. He was charged with the murders of Corporal Frontczak and Captain Daly, as well as the slaying of a 17-year old boy that had taken place in August of 1975. The suspect pled guilty to all charges, confessing that he had shot and officers because they had drawn their weapons and that he had shot the 17-year old in the back simply because he wanted to shoot someone, and the boy was the first to walk by him. He was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences, but was allowed out on furloughs 10 years later.

Corporal Frontczak had served with the Montgomery County Police Department for 9 years. He was survived by his wife and two sons.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Captain James Edward Daly, Jr.
Montgomery County Police Department, Maryland
End of Watch: Sunday, March 28, 1976
Cause: Gunfire

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Most Recent Reflection

I was 9 yrs old, my family lived just 2 blocks from yours. My father was also on the job and was on scene (caught a glimpse of my dad on the local news regarding the shooting). Afterwards, my family got to know Jane, Michael and Danny and have wonderful memories playing at your house. I don't think I ever got to meet you but since that day I have never forgotten you, your family and officer Daly. As the child of a police officer I became keenly how fragile life was after that.

Terri McWilliams (Hosinski)
February 5, 2016

 

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