Detective Otto A. Nukem

Detective Otto A. Nukem

Johnstown Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Wednesday, September 12, 1923

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Otto A. Nukem

Detective Otto Nukem succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained two weeks earlier when he was shot while responding to a riot in the city's Rosedale section. As the vehicle he was in drove underneath an underpass shots were fired at the car and Detective Nukem was struck in the arm. He was transported to Memorial Hospital and treated. He was released from the hospital but died from complications several days later.

Three other officers were also killed as results of wounds sustained in the riot. Special Officer Joseph Abrahams and Detective John James, of the Cambria County District Attorney's Office, were shot and killed on the day of the riot. Captain Otto Fink, also of the Johnstown Police Department, died on November 2nd, 1923, from wounds sustained during the riot.

The officers were attempting to stop a disturbance involving several men when one, crazed from drinking moonshine, opened fire with a revolver. Other officers arriving on the scene shot and killed the suspect.


  • Age 46
  • Tour 11 years
  • Badge 28

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Friday, August 31, 1923
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Shot and killed

civil unrest

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On this actual day of your death I would like to reiterate my previous reflection, you will never be forgotten.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

September 12, 2020

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