Patrolman Elmer Sprosty

Patrolman Elmer Sprosty

Cleveland Division of Police, Ohio

End of Watch Thursday, April 21, 1921

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Elmer Sprosty

Patrolman Elmer Sprosty was shot and killed while investigating gun shots he heard while on patrol on Scovill Street. When he went to investigate he encountered a group of men running from a building. One of the men in the group opened fire, striking Patrolman Sprosty. After Patrolman Sprosty fell to the ground, the man went up to him and shot him two more times. Another nearby patrolman witnessed the incident and returned fire, wounding the shooter.

All of the men were later apprehended; two were sentenced to life; one for first degree murder and the other for second degree murder. The cases of the remaining two suspects were nulled. On February 21, 1928, the 25-year-old suspect convicted of second degree murder, was burned to death in his cell. He purposely or accidentally set fire to his bed.

Patrolman Sprosty was a United States Navy WWI veteran had been with the agency for only six months. He was survived by his wife and his father, who was a Captain with the agency. He is buried in West park Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio.


  • Age 24
  • Tour 6 months
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life

foot patrol, shots fired

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NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Ohio Attorneys General Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Patrolman Elmer Sprosty of the Cleveland Division of Police, Ohio and the additional 63 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

April 21, 2022

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