Police Officer Thomas Ward

Police Officer Thomas Ward

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Missouri

End of Watch Friday, June 13, 1919

Add to My Heroes

Thomas Ward

Police Officer Thomas Ward and Lieutenant William Smith were shot and killed after responding to the scene of a bank robbery at the Meramec Trust Company, at the intersection of Meramec Street and Virginia Avenue.

A passerby had alerted the officers to the robbery and several officers surrounded the building. As the robbers came an intense shootout erupted. The getaway driver fled the scene, leaving the three armed men alone. A running gun battle took them to a house on Minnesota Street where the men took refuge in the basement of a house. As officers attempted to surround the house both Lieutenant Smith and Officer Ward were shot. The three men were eventually apprehended. During the shooting, a little girl was shot and wounded as she walked out of a nearby church.

Officer Ward succumbed to his wounds the following day and Lieutenant Smith succumbed to his wounds one month later.

The three suspects were convicted of murder. Two, 23 and 24, were sentenced to life, and the other, age 17, to 30 years. The one sentenced to thirty years was paroled in November of 1935. Three years later he was convicted of possession of counterfeit money and sentenced to five years in federal prison. One sentenced to life died in a prison hospital on April 12, 1942. The other was paroled on June 27, 1946.

Officer Ward had been with the agency for 24 years and was survived by his sister.


  • Age 51
  • Tour 24 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, June 12, 1919
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life


Most Recent Reflection

View all 8 Reflections

Thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice will always be remembered. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

July 13, 2020

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.