Patrolman Walter R. May

Patrolman Walter R. May

Erie Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Wednesday, November 30, 1949

Walter R. May

Patrolman Walter May and Sergeant Leo Waldinger were shot and killed while attempting to apprehend a hostage taker at the G. Daniel Baldwin Building at 10th and State Streets. An irate WWII veteran had taken a US Veterans Administration director hostage at the location. Sergeant Waldinger, who was off duty but responded to the call anyway, and Patrolman May arrived at the scene at the same time and attempted to persuade the suspect to release the hostage. When the officers saw an opening they attempted to rush the suspect but were both shot and fatally wounded.

Both officers were transported to a local hospital where they succumbed to their injuries several days later. The suspect was apprehended and committed to a mental hospital. He died at age 65 on December 16, 1986, at Warren State Hospital.

Patrolman May had been with the agency for 22 years and was survived by his wife and six children.

Bio

  • Age 45
  • Tour 22 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Friday, November 18, 1949
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Committed

hostage

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service and for your heroism! You and your family are in my prayers.

Lieutenant Lee Ann Self
Birmingham Police Department (AL), Retired

November 30, 2014

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