Policeman Ernest Wylie Smith

Policeman Ernest Wylie Smith

Los Angeles Police Department, California

End of Watch Sunday, August 23, 1925

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Ernest Wylie Smith

Policeman Wylie Smith succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained the previous day while he and other officers attempted to arrest four bank robbery suspects.

A motorcycle officer pursued the suspects until the men stopped the car and exited. The suspects opened fire on the motorcycle officer and other officers who were arriving on the scene. The motorcycle officer was wounded in the hip, and Policeman Smith suffered a fatal shot to his chest.

One of the suspects was shot and killed, one was wounded, and taken into custody, and two escaped from the scene.

One suspect was captured in San Francisco a few days later and the other suspect was apprehended in Chicago, Illinois, several days later. On January 3, 1926, two of the suspects, 21 and 23, were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life. On January 22, 1934, one hanged himself with a bed sheet in his cell at Folsom Prison. The other was denied parole on June 28, 1942.

Policeman Smith was a United States Navy veteran and had served with the Los Angeles Police Department for two years. He was survived by his mother, three sisters, and a brother.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, August 22, 1925
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life

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More information: https://www.lapdonline.org/lod-officers/wylie-e-smith/

Official Site LAPD

November 22, 2022

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