Patrolman William E. Sheehan

Patrolman William E. Sheehan

Westwood Police Department, Massachusetts

End of Watch Tuesday, February 11, 1975

Add to My Heroes

William E. Sheehan

Patrolman William Sheehan was shot and killed by a man who had just murdered the owner of a Chinese restaurant as the victim was driving his vehicle. The suspect, who was a passenger in that vehicle, was a former New Hampshire state trooper who was fired for extorting the owners of Chinese restaurants.

Patrolman Sheehan and his partner were on patrol when they encountered the vehicle stopped in traffic. They stopped their patrol car in front of the vehicle and began walking back towards it, not knowing a murder had just occurred.

The suspect met the officers between the vehicle and the patrol car and immediately opened fire with a .357 caliber revolver, striking Patrolman Sheehan in the eye. He then attempted to shoot Patrolman Sheehan's partner, but missed. He fired a second shot, striking the partner in the abdomen. The suspect ran out of ammunition as he attempted to shoot the officer again.

The officer was able to grab Patrolman Sheehan's service weapon and shot the suspect in the legs several times as he fled.

The suspect was found guilty of two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, and was sentenced to life in prison. The suspect escaped from a work release program in 1987, but was caught in Chicago and returned to prison.

Patrolman Sheehan had served with the Westwood Police Department for 30 years.


  • Age 63
  • Tour 30 years
  • Badge 1

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .357 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

View all 13 Reflections

I was a small boy from Westwood and would listen to the Police on the scanner. I heard the calls from this murder. Years latter I worked in the Mass. DOC and who would be one of the Inmates in my block but the murderer Armand Therrian. He was a very calculating and dangerous Inmate. He had some type of connections and years later requested a move to NH Corrections to be closer to his "family". This made me sick. Officer Sheehan never had the luxury of being closer to his family after Therrian took his life.

Therrian was granted the move over the objections of many. The Elementary school I attended as a child in Westwood is named in honor of this hero murdered by a savage.

I remember and hope all pause to think of this Officer who gave his life to protect us all. God bless him and his family.

Christopher Donovan, Cpt.
Department of Correction

February 13, 2016

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.