Detective Sergeant Thomas Joseph Sullivan

Detective Sergeant Thomas Joseph Sullivan

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Missouri

End of Watch Friday, February 26, 1937

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Thomas Joseph Sullivan

Detective Sergeant Thomas Sullivan was shot and killed while he and his partner investigated a rash of robberies in the area of Pine and Olive Streets.

Although their shift had finished the two detectives continued their investigation and had gone to a local hotel at 3222 Olive Street to ask the clerk if he had seen anyone fitting the descriptions of the two suspects. The clerk took the detectives to a room where two such men were staying.

The men in the room cracked the door open, slammed it, and then began shooting through it. The detectives returned fire and then kicked the door in. One of the suspects was killed and Detective Sergeant Sullivan was mortally wounded. The second suspect fled but was shot and killed by other officers as he attempted to escape in a stolen car. Detective Sergeant Sullivan had been shot five times and succumbed to the wounds the following day.

The two suspects were escapees from Michigan and had committed approximately 15 robberies.

Detective Sergeant Sullivan was a U.S. Army veteran and had been with the agency for 18 years. He was survived by his wife and three children. Two of his children followed in his footsteps and became St. Louis police officers.


  • Age 45
  • Tour 18 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, February 25, 1937
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Both shot and killed

escapee, robbery

Most Recent Reflection

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Det. Sgt. Sullivan,
On today, the 78th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served in the U.S. Army during WW I(I read your memorial on the STLMPD web page and it states you joined in 1919 after serving in the U.S. Army which was a year after WW I ended).


United States Border Patrol

February 26, 2015

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