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 gunshots he heard while on patrol on Scovill Street.

When he went to investigate, he encountered a group of men running from the Goldberg's Cafe at 1421 Scovill. 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 and had been with the Cleveland Division of Police 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 in 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

Most Recent Reflection

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NEVER FORGET! Please help me honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Patrolman Elmer Sprosty of the Cleveland Division of Police, Ohio and the additional 61 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

April 21, 2024

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