Substitute Patrolman Abraham Bird

Substitute Patrolman Abraham Bird

Cincinnati Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Wednesday, September 2, 1874

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Abraham Bird

Patrolman Abraham Bird was shot and killed when he attempted to remove a subject from the vestibule of the Jockleys Circus.

The Patrolman was called to the incident by the manager of the circus due to the man's threats toward a performer, who was his wife.

After finding the subject, Patrolman Bird and another officer tried to escort him out when the subject pulled away, took a pistol from his right rear pants pocket, and fired at them. Neither officer was armed (firearms would not be approved for another 14 years), and both turned away from the shot. The bullet went through Patrolman Bird’s left arm and into his chest, through both lungs and the aorta at the top of his heart. The subject then kicked the other officer three or four times in the back and ran out. A groom came out of the stable and immediately went to Officer Bird and found him already dead.

The suspect was found and arrested by several officers nearby. On April 2, 1875, he was convicted of murder in the second degree and given a Life sentence.

Patrolman Bird had served with the Cincinnati Police Department for seven years. He was survived by his wife and five children.


  • Age 49
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life


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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 Substitute Patrolman Abraham Bird of the Cincinnati Police Department, Ohio and the additional 81 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

September 2, 2023

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