Police Officer Nelson F. Bell, Jr.

Police Officer Nelson F. Bell, Jr.

Baltimore City Police Department, Maryland

End of Watch Friday, October 27, 1978

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Nelson F. Bell, Jr.

Police Officer Nelson Bell succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained five days earlier after responding to the Trailways Bus Terminal, at 210 West Fayette Street, to backup officers who were being shot at by a man with a compound bow.

During the ensuing shootout, the suspect was shot and killed. After the shooting ended Officer Bell was found approximately 30-feet away suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. He was transported to the University of Maryland Hospital where he succumbed to his wound a short time later.

It was determined that Officer Bell was not in the direct line of fire of the suspect or other officers involved in the shooting and that he was struck by a police rifle round that had ricocheted off of the hallway walls.

Officer Bell had served with the Baltimore City Police Department for 4.5 years. He is survived by his wife, daughter, and two sons.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 4 years, 6 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)
  • Incident Date Sunday, October 22, 1978
  • Weapon Officer's rifle
  • Offender Shot and killed

shots fired call

Most Recent Reflection

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I had the honor of working with Nelson in the Tactical Division out of the downtown Baltimore City Police Headquarters building, being paired with him in a two person vehicle on numerous occasions. I have long described him as one of the nicest and most professional officer's I ever served with. He was dedicated to the job, and to my personal safety, admonishing me on more than one occasion to roll my windows up when leaving work at the end of one of our night shifts. He described his young family often, always in loving and glowing terms. He lived the standard every department strives for to this day.

Tactical Officer William A Burton
Baltimore City Police Department

July 25, 2020

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