Officer Eric A. Zelms

Officer Eric A. Zelms

San Francisco Police Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, January 1, 1970

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Eric A. Zelms

Officer Eric Zelms was shot and killed while investigating a burglary at 132 Jones Street in San Francisco while on foot patrol at approximately 2:00 a.m.

He was surprised by two burglars, who attacked him and were able to gain control of his .357 caliber service revolver. The men then shot him with it and attempted to flee.

The subject then encountered two other officers and exchanged shots. One of the men was wounded. Both were apprehended, convicted of the murder, and subsequently sentenced to eight to 10 years.

Officer Zelms had served with the San Francisco Police Department for less than one year. He was survived by his wife and one child.


  • Age 22
  • Tour 11 months
  • Badge 1348

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Both sentenced 8 - 10 years

foot patrol, robbery attempt

Most Recent Reflection

View all 39 Reflections

I was in Nam when my Dad was killed in the line of duty May 1st, 1969. I went to Officer Zelms rosary on Church Strett. Like my Dad, your Dad made the ultimate sacrifice. I along with the SFPD and the good citizens of SF will never forget. God Bless
Bob Brodnik, Rey. 1854

Bob Brodnik Inspector

May 20, 2024

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