Sergeant William A. Prochazka

Sergeant William A. Prochazka

Bedford Heights Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Monday, November 10, 1975

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William A. Prochazka

Sergeant William Prochazka was shot and killed when he interrupted a robbery in progress at a local paint store at the Southgate Shopping Center.

He went to the store to drop off mug shots while investigating a robbery of the store from several weeks earlier. He was shot in the neck as he walked through the rear door.

Three suspects were arrested in Cleveland a short time later. The fourth suspect was arrested in Detroit on September 8, 1976, for breaking and entering. He gave a false name, but a fingerprint check revealed his true identity. All four, 18, 18, 19, and 19, were sentenced to death, but their sentences were commuted to life in 1977. One of the four, the getaway driver, was released in 2003. Two will be eligible for parole in 2025. Another was denied parole in May of 2021.

Sergeant Prochazka had served with the Bedford Heights Police Department for 11 years. He was survived by his wife and four children.


  • Age 41
  • Tour 11 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Commuted to life

investigation, robbery in progress

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NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Ohio Attorneys General Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Sergeant William A. Prochazka of the Bedford Heights Police Department, Ohio and the additional 77 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

November 10, 2023

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