Lieutenant Walter Louis Szwajkowski

Lieutenant Walter Louis Szwajkowski

Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Sunday, June 27, 1976

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Walter Louis Szwajkowski

Lieutenant Walter Szwajkowski was shot and killed while investigating reports of a man threatening four people with a gun outside of a church. Lieutenant Szwajkowski, who was attending mass inside the church, confronted the man with his gun drawn when the man opened fire. Lieutenant Szwajkowski managed to return fire, killing the suspect.

Lieutenant Szwajkowski had served with the Philadelphia Police Department for 22 years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 45
  • Tour 22 years
  • Badge 73

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

disturbance, weapons violation

Most Recent Reflection

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I met Walt in 1968 when I was a Sergeant with him in Foot Traffic. We became friends. Later when Walt was promoted to Lieutenant I was one of his Sergeants in 4 Squad, 35th District. The day before Walt was killed he asked me to form the squad the next day (Sunday) at the detail we were assigned for the Bi-Centennial celebration on the Ben Franklin Parkway. He said he would go to early Mass and when he arrived at the detail he would relieve me to go to Mass at the Cathedral on the Parkway. That was why he was at the church and in uniform the morning he was killed. I have never forgotten his friendship and the heroic action he took that fateful day. His wife, Marian, son, Walt Jr. and daughter Irene lost a loving husband and father. Walt was one of the finest men and most professional police officer I met in 27 years with the Philly PD. A few of the 4 Squad survivors: Rich Toth, John McHugh, Frank Zarzycki, Russ Macaluso, Tony Rosenbaum and Bob Capaldi meet and Walt is still mentioned and thought of at our get togethers. God bless Walt Jr. and Irene and their Families.

John Stuckert - Sergeant (Retired)
Deputy Chief Retired Bureau Criminal Inves. PA Office of Attorney Gen

June 26, 2022

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