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. 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 patrolmen 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 was a United States Air Force veteran and served with the New York City Police Department for seven years, assigned to the 20th precinct. He 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.

He is buried at Beaufort National Cemetery in Beaufort, Beaufort County, South Carolina.


  • Age 34
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge 16544
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)

mistaken identity, robbery, secondary employment

Most Recent Reflection

View all 21 Reflections

I attended your Memorial at the 20th Pct. today. I met many of your family and extended family. Many of them were either active or retired Officers. Your two daughters were lovely and really appreciated it when I told them I was in the 20th Pct. with you and played on the 20th pct . basketball team with you. Your LOD death was a tragedy and I am sure you were greatly missed by all. RIP

PO Robert Manzi

March 12, 2023

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