Police Officer Joseph John Grill

Police Officer Joseph John Grill

Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Wednesday, March 6, 1991

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Joseph John Grill

Police Officer Joseph Grill and Thomas Herron were killed in an auto accident while in pursuit of two stolen vehicles. Their patrol wagon collided with another patrol wagon near the intersection of 26th Street and Sarah Street shortly before 10:00 am.

During the chase, both vehicles had split up and were continuing to be followed by Officers Grill and Herron. While pursuing the second vehicle on Sarah Street, their patrol wagon was broadsided by a second police wagon that was entering the pursuit on 26th Street. The 18-year-old suspect abandoned the stolen vehicle a few blocks away shortly after the crash.

On March 14, the suspect was arrested at City Court while attending a hearing related to an unrelated charge of robbery. Investigators learned of the suspect's identity shortly after the accident and were unable to locate him but were aware of the scheduled court hearing. The driver of the first stolen vehicle was arrested the same day, several blocks from the accident scene. On October 9, 1991, the 18-year-old suspect pleaded guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of homicide by motor vehicle. The suspect was sentenced to 9 1/2 years to 29 years in prison.

Officer Grill had served with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police for 25 years and was assigned to Zone 3 South Side. He was survived by his wife, three daughters, and three sons.


  • Age 59
  • Tour 25 years, 9 months
  • Badge 1375

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicle pursuit
  • Weapon Not available
  • Offender Sentenced to 9 1/2 years to 29 years

stolen vehicle, vehicle pursuit

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Grill,
On today, the 30th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Pittsburgh. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

March 6, 2021

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