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Police Officer William T. Kohler | Oakland Police Department, California Oakland Police Department, California

Police Officer

William T. Kohler

Oakland Police Department, California

End of Watch: Saturday, July 4, 1931

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 50

Tour: 25 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Officer's handgun

Offender: Sentenced to life

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Officer Kohler was shot and killed while investigating a call from two utility workers. The two men had told the officer they had seen several broken slot machines nearby. When Officer Kohler went to the scene he found two youths, shooting at tin cans. As he approached, the suspects opened fire, striking him several times. The suspects then drove over his body as they fled.

The gun the suspects used had been stolen from an officer they had shot and wounded in Alameda County one week earlier. That officers life was saved when a bullet deflected off his badge. The suspects were arrested a few days later in Beaver, Utah, when they were caught attempting to steal a car.

Both suspects, both 16, were convicted of first degree murder on September 18, 1931, and sentenced to life in San Quentin Prison. One was paroled on September 24, 1943.

Officer Kohler had been with the agency for 25 years.

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Officer Kohler was my great-grandfather. He lost his wife just a few months before he was killed on that fateful day in 1931. I wish I could've known him. I am proud to be one of his descendants.

December 15, 2015


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