Patrolman William J. Otis

Patrolman William J. Otis

Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Wednesday, March 3, 1971

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William J. Otis

Patrolman William Otis was killed by a gunshot while he and his partner responded to a burglary in progress call at a home on Centre Avenue in Oakland. The owner of the residence, thinking Officer Otis was the burglar, shot him as he entered a hallway.

Patrolman Otis was taken to University of Pittsburgh Presbyterian Hospital where he died within the hour.

Patrolman Otis had served with the Pittsburgh Police Department for 13 months and was a member of the Army Reserves where he served in the Vietnam War. He was survived by his wife, two year old son, and parents, and sister.


  • Age 23
  • Tour 1 year, 1 month
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .32 caliber
  • Offender No charges filed

burglary in progress, fatal funnel

Most Recent Reflection

View all 17 Reflections

It's been 44 years since your passing and I've carried it with me all these years never forgetting our talks and the circumstances that surrounded that fatal day. God Bless you Brother Bill and thank you for your sacrifice.

Eddie Wirkowski
Retired Pgh. Police Off. and personel friend

March 22, 2015

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