Police Officer Irving E. Wright

Police Officer Irving E. Wright

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Monday, March 5, 1973

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Irving E. Wright

Officer Irving Wright was accidentally shot and killed while off-duty by two Police Officers who mistook him for an offender.

Officer Wright was off-duty and working a security job at a grocery store when a man entered with a gun and held up the store the store. After the man exited, Patrolman Wright drew his .38 caliber off-duty revolver and began to chase the suspect. Patrolman Wright chased the suspect south on St. Nicholas Avenue, then west on 111th Street and then north on Seventh Avenue, exchanging gunfire with the suspect the entire time.

Two on-duty officers saw Officer Wright running with a gun in his hand near the corner of 111th Street, but did not see the suspect because he ran west on 111th street and hid under a parked car. The two patrolman exited their patrol car and yelled "Freeze!, Drop your gun!". Officer Wright did stop at first, but then spun around toward the officers. As he turned, his gun accidentally discharged. Both uniformed officers opened fire, striking Officer Wright six times. He was rushed to St. Luke's Hospital, where he died from his wounds.

The suspect who robbed the store was apprehended and charged with Robbery and Criminal Possession of a Weapon.

Officer Wright had served with the New York City Police Department for seven years and was survived by his three daughters, son and three brothers, two of whom where New York City Police Officers and a third who was an Assemblyman in the New York State Assembly.

Officer Wright was assigned to the 20th Precinct.


  • Age 34
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge 16544

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)

Most Recent Reflection

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On this actual anniversary of your heroic and untimely death I’d like to reiterate my previous reflection and say that your law enforcement family will always remember. Rest in peace always.

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

March 5, 2021

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