Detective Walter O. "Spike" Womeldorf

Detective Walter O. "Spike" Womeldorf

Columbus Division of Police, Ohio

End of Watch Friday, May 29, 1925

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Walter O. "Spike" Womeldorf

Detective Spike Womeldorf was accidentally shot and killed by a fellow officer during a gunfight with bootleggers on Naghten Street and Cleveland Avenue in Columbus at 5:30 p.m.

Three federal agents and officers from the Columbus Division of Police raided the home of a suspected bootlegger. The subject dumped five gallons of liquor down the sink and fired on officers, striking one in the leg. When the suspect fled the house, officers pursued the suspect, and a gunfight ensued. A four-year-old boy playing outside was struck in the shoulder. Detective Womeldorf was shot in the back and died instantly.

The bootlegging suspect was apprehended.

Detective Womeldorf was a United States Army WWI military police veteran servingas a motor officer in Belgium and France. He was survived by his wife.


  • Age 29
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)

alcohol violation, friendly fire

Most Recent Reflection

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NEVER FORGET! Honoring the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Officer Walter O. Womeldorf of the Columbus Division of Police, Ohio and the additional 70 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer (Retired)
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

May 29, 2024

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