Patrol Wagon Driver Joseph Sturm

Patrol Wagon Driver Joseph Sturm

Cincinnati Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Saturday, March 29, 1884

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Joseph Sturm

Patrolman Joseph Sturm was accidentally shot and killed during a riot which started when a mob of angry citizens stormed the city jail in an attempt to hang a convict.

The citizens were upset because the man was sentenced to 20 years for his crime instead of being sentenced to death. Approximately 10,000 citizens surrounded the courthouse and poured an accelerant down the stairs leading to an entry door where members of the Ohio National Guard were stationed after being activated the previous night. The Guardsmen opened fire on the rioters in order to push them back from the jail.

Patrolman Sturm had taken a wagon into the crowd in order to aid a wounded rioter when he was struck multiple times by a second volley by the Guardsmen.

Patrolman Sturm was a Civil War Veteran who served as a private in the 9th Ohio Infantry, Company E. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 43
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)


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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 Patrol Wagon Driver Joseph Sturm of the Cincinnati Police Department, 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

March 29, 2023

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