Sergeant William S. Wells

Sergeant William S. Wells

Kansas City Police Department, Missouri

End of Watch Monday, September 27, 1948

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William S. Wells

Sergeant William Wells was shot and killed an incident that has become known as the "Paseo Massacre".

One of the suspects was shot and killed; the other was apprehended in December of the same year after killing another officer and was sentenced to death. He was executed December 2, 1949.

Sergeant Wells had served with the Kansas City Police Department for eight years and was survived by his wife and two daughters. He is buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery, Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri.

Four members of the Kansas City Police Department were shot and killed after responding to a disturbance call at 1334 Paseo Road. The suspect was creating problems with his neighbors. The first officers to arrive were Patrolman Neaves and Washington. As they were placing the suspect under arrest, his brother exited the building with a shotgun. He fired at Patrolman Neaves point blank, killing him. The original suspect then took the shotgun from his brother and killed Patrolman Washington as he rushed to aid his partner. The suspects then removed a shotgun from the officer's patrol car.

When Patrolman Perrine and Sergeant Wells arrived on the scene they exchanged gunfire with the suspects. Patrolman Perrine was shot and killed during the exchange and Sergeant Wells was seriously wounded. Both suspects were killed along with an innocent bystander. Sergeant Wells died seven days later from his gunshot wounds.


  • Age 36
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Monday, September 20, 1948
  • Weapon Officer's shotgun
  • Offender Shot and killed; apprehended and execute

Most Recent Reflection

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Sgt. Wells:
Thanks for being there and attempting to save your men, who were under fire. Obviously you were attempting to save others, while cut down by violent offenders with no regard for decency or the sanctity of life. There is no better example of leadership. You laid your life down in an attempt to save others in peril. Thanks again. It is good to see you are still revered by your family, as you are by peace officers near and afar.

Jim Lopey, Asst. Sheriff (Ret)
Washoe County Sheriff (Reno, Nv.) & NVDPS

September 20, 2021

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