Police Officer William P. Staples

Police Officer William P. Staples

Everett Police Department, Massachusetts

End of Watch Wednesday, May 5, 1926

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William P. Staples

Officer William Staples and Officer John Lonergan were shot and killed by a suspect who had been annoying young women.

When the call came in, Officers Staples and Lonergan responded and attempted to arrest the suspect on Harris Avenue. Unexpectedly, the suspect ran into a nearby yard and turned and fired, killing Patrolman Staples with shots to the throat and chest.

Officer Lonergan, joined by a Patrolman Brooks, continued to pursue the suspect who ran toward a neighboring house and, upon approaching the house, turned and shot Officer Lonergan in the abdomen. The officer, while mortally injured, continued to fire in the direction of the fleeing suspect. The suspect forced his way into a house at gunpoint forcing the occupant out of the house. The suspect then began shooting at responding patrolman through the windows of the home. When the shooting stopped, police officers carefully entered the home and located the suspect hiding in a closet. When he refused to give himself up, they fired into the closet causing him to surrender. He was arrested and charged with murder. Officer Lonergan was rushed to Whidden Hospital where he died five days later.

The suspect was declared insane and sent to an insane asylum.


  • Age 57
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Committed

arrest attempt

Most Recent Reflection

View all 9 Reflections

Officer Staples, today marks the 95th anniversary of your tragic, unnecessary and infuriating murder. You have not been, nor will be forgotten, Brother.

Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Department

May 5, 2021

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