Patrolman James F. Ryan

Patrolman James F. Ryan

Cleveland Division of Police, Ohio

End of Watch Thursday, January 8, 1931

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James F. Ryan

Patrolman James Ryan was shot and killed while he and his partner, Patrolman John Cleary, attempted to apprehend several robbery suspects.

The officers had located one of the suspects in a rooming house at 1714 W 25th Street in Cleveland, and the man agreed to show them what room the others were in. When the officers went to the room, they were met by an undressed woman who refused to let them in. The officers forced entry, and Officer Ryan began searching the room.

When he opened a closet door, he was confronted by the suspect at gunpoint. Patrolman Ryan attempted to draw his weapon and was shot several times. The suspect then ran into the hallway and shot Patrolman Cleary, severing his spine. Although wounded, Patrolman Ryan was able to chase the suspect a short distance and shoot him. The suspect ran to a nearby house, where he collapsed due to a loss of blood. Other officers had followed the blood trail to the house and arrested the man.

Patrolman Ryan was transported to Fairview Hospital where he was able to identify the suspect before succumbing to his wounds. Patrolman Cleary was hospitalized and remained in a wheelchair until succumbing to his wounds 7 years later.

The suspect, who was an escaped convict, was executed on April 22, 1932.

Patrolman Ryan was a WWI veteran and served with the Cleveland Division of Police for 23 years. He was survived by his parents.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 23 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Executed in 1932

convicted felon, escapee, plainclothes, robbery

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NEVER FORGET! Please help me honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Patrolman James F. Ryan of the Cleveland Division of Police, Ohio and the additional 66 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer (Retired)
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

January 8, 2024

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