Patrolman Howard B. Taft

Patrolman Howard B. Taft

Elyria Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Tuesday, August 18, 1942

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Howard B. Taft

Patrolman Howard Taft was shot and killed after arresting a man for drunk driving. Unbeknownst to Patrolman Taft, the suspect had just murdered a prostitute as well.

He was driving an off-duty officer home when they stopped at the scene of an accident. After determining the driver was drunk, Patrolman Taft began to drive the suspect's vehicle to the station as the off-duty officer drove the patrol car back. After driving only 100 yards, Patrolman Taft stopped to free a piece of the car that was dragging on the ground. The suspect then took the keys from the car and was confronted by Patrolman Taft, who ordered him to release the keys. The suspect then returned to the vehicle and opened fire with a weapon, mortally wounding Patrolman Taft.

Patrolman Taft returned fire, hitting the suspect six times and killing him. The body of the prostitute was later found in the trunk of the vehicle.

Patrolman Taft had served with the Elyria Police Department for ten months. He was survived by his wife and son.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 10 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

accident scene, Impaired Driver

Most Recent Reflection

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May God and St. Michael watch over you in Heaven, Officer Taft. You will never be forgotten.

Patrolman Kenneth Collins
South Amherst Police Department

August 21, 2023

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