Detective Ernest Purgatorio

Detective Ernest Purgatorio

Springfield Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Monday, July 31, 1933

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Ernest Purgatorio

Detective Ernest Purgatorio was shot and killed while he and several other officers investigated a call at a local hotel.

An elderly man was believed to have a young girl in his room and the girl's father wanted officers to retrieve her. When the detectives knocked on the man's door and identified themselves, he replied that he would shoot the first person through the door. One of the officers returned to the police station to obtain tear gas and then returned to the scene.

The officers kicked the door in, but the man stuck a rifle through the opened door and fired a shot, striking Detective Purgatorio. The man then climbed down a rope ladder to another room and exited to the hotel lobby where he was arrested by other officers.

The subject was convicted of manslaughter and served 10 years in prison.


  • Age 26
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Released after 10 years

suspicious event

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace always knowing your service and sacrifice will never be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

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

July 31, 2020

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