Patrolman Frederick D. Vacha

Patrolman Frederick D. Vacha

Cleveland Division of Police, Ohio

End of Watch Wednesday, June 20, 1973

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Frederick D. Vacha

Patrolman Fred Vacha was shot and killed as he and his partner patrolled a high-crime area as part of the Impact Task Force.

The two officers observed a man carrying a handgun on his right side and pulled up alongside him. As Patrolman Vacha called out to the man, the suspect immediately opened fire with a 9mm handgun. One of the rounds struck Patrolman Vacha in the head, killing him instantly. The other officer was struck in the ankle and wounded.

The suspect was arrested a short time later. He was sentenced to two life sentences for Patrolman Vacha's death. He was denied parole in 2013 and 2023. His next parole hearing will be in 2033.

Patrolman Vacha was a United States Marine Corps veteran and had served with the Cleveland Division of Police for three years. He was survived by his expectant wife, daughter, mother, father, and three brothers. His son was born seven months after he died.


  • Age 25
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge 2373
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; 9 mm
  • Offender Sentenced to life

patrol, suspicious activity, suspicious person

Most Recent Reflection

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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 Patrolman John M. Donnelly of the Springfield Police Department, Ohio and the additional 64 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

June 20, 2023

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