Officer John Purcell

Officer John Purcell

Metropolitan Police Department, District of Columbia

End of Watch Wednesday, October 17, 1923

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John Purcell

Officer John Purcell and his partner were in plainclothes and on patrol near 3rd Street and Virginia Avenue, SW, when they happened upon a group of burglars in an alley.

The suspects opened fire, wounding both officers. They were both able to return fire and fatally wound a suspect. Officer Purcell succumbed to his wounds later.

Officer Purcell had served with the Metropolitan Police Department for 20 years and was assigned to the Fourth Precinct. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender One shot and killed


Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Purcell,
On today, the 100th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the District of Columbia.


United States Border Patrol

October 17, 2023

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