Patrolman William J. Kearns

Patrolman William J. Kearns

Concord Police Department, North Carolina

End of Watch Monday, September 4, 1899

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William J. Kearns

Patrolman William Kearns was shot and killed while investigating a disturbance involving several individuals on West Depot Street.

Patrolman Kearns had been on duty at the railroad depot and had gone home just before midnight for his lunch break. A few minutes after he left home to return to duty, he encountered three men near his house on West Depot Street who had been drinking and were creating a disturbance. When he attempted to arrest the men, one of them produced a pistol and exchanged shots with Patrolman Kearns, killing him.

The suspects all fled the scene but were eventually apprehended. The man who shot Patrolman Kearns was executed by hanging on September 2nd, 1900.

Patrolman Kearns was a part-time officer and was only called to duty when the chief of police was out of town. He was survived by his wife and child.

West Depot Street no longer exists. It was on the opposite side of the railroad tracks from Scott Avenue SW.


  • Age 26
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Executed in 1900


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Rest in peace always and please know that your service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your fellow law enforcement.

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

September 4, 2020

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