Detective Salvatore Potenza

Detective Salvatore Potenza

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Thursday, October 15, 1964

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Salvatore Potenza

Detective Potenza and Detective James Donegan were shot and killed after going to a home to investigate a complaint.

Detective Potenza and Detective Donegan received a complaint that a man had assaulted his wife and threatened to kill her. They were told that the man was an ex-convict and a former mental patient. The detectives went to an apartment at 1632 Hendrickson Street, Brooklyn, where the suspect was staying. When the detectives knocked on the door, the suspect opened fire through the door with a rifle. Both Detective Potenza and Detective Donegan were fatally wounded. The detectives were able to return fire before they fell, but did not strike the suspect.

The suspect then stole the detective's service weapons and fled to his wife's house. Once there, he told her what he had done and then shot and killed himself with one of the stolen guns.

Detective Potenza and Detective Donegan were assigned to the 71st Precinct Detective Squad.


  • Age 35
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge 1203

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Committed suicide

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Rest in peace Detective Potenza.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

September 14, 2021

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