Detective John Barnes

Detective John Barnes

Portsmouth Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Friday, February 26, 1932

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John Barnes

Detective Barnes was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a robbery suspect on Seventh Street. Detective Barnes had observed the man attempt to hold up a woman. When the woman started screaming and ran, the suspect ran the other way, towards Detective Barnes.

Detective Barnes stepped out of his vehicle and grabbed the suspect, who immediately turned and fired. Although mortally wounded, Detective Barnes was able to return fire and hit the suspect once in the hand. A man who was standing nearby grabbed Detective Barnes' service revolver, chased down the suspect, and subdued him until police arrived. The suspect's accomplice was arrested a short time later.

Both suspects were convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in April of 1932. The shooter died in prison. His accomplice was paroled in April of 1957.

Detective Barnes was survived by his wife.


  • Age 40
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Died in prison

Most Recent Reflection

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NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Ohio Attorneys General Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Detective John Barnes of the Portsmouth Police Department, Ohio and the additional 78 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

February 26, 2023

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