Police Officer William W. Spencer

Police Officer William W. Spencer

Detroit Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Monday, August 5, 1929

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William W. Spencer

Officer Spencer succumbed to gunshot wounds received two days earlier when he and his partner responded to a street brawl at Larned Street and Hastings Street in Detroit's Central District.

One of the brawler's opened fire with a .45-caliber revolver, striking Officer Spencer in the leg, wrist, and stomach. Both Officer Spencer and his partner returned fire but the suspect was only struck once in the finger. The suspect was apprehended the following year and was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life. He was paroled on November 1, 1947.

Officer Spencer had received a Citation of Merit only two weeks before his murder for his role in stopping an armed robbery. He had been with the agency for six years and was survived by his wife, siblings, and parents.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, August 3, 1929
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Pardoned in 1947


Most Recent Reflection

View all 7 Reflections

I wasn't a police officer but spent 3 years in the Army. My family has proudly served during 4 wars - WWII and Korea (dad), Vietnam (me), the Desert Wars (son) and serving by the DMZ in Korea (daughter). I am aware of what it means to protect and serve - all 3 generations in the Army.

To paraphrase, there can be no greater love than to lay down your life for your fellow man. I am proud of you and I dearly hope your family - and the people who read bout you, will carry your memory in their lives. God bless you,

John Braun

Specialist, 4th Class
U.S. Army

November 30, 2020

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