Police Officer Richard Allen Thomas

Police Officer Richard Allen Thomas

Washington City Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Friday, May 26, 1922

Add to My Heroes

Richard Allen Thomas

Police Officer Richard Thomas was shot and killed from ambush while walking his beat near the intersection of Forrest Avenue and Highland Avenue.

Officer Thomas was leaving a store and was walking down the stairs from the front porch when he was shot without warning by a man on the sidewalk. He was struck in the face and killed instantly.

The subject who shot him was a criminal who was well known to police officers in the area, and he was married to Officer Thomas' niece. He fled the scene and remained at large for 10 years until turning himself in to the Baltimore Police Department, Maryland, on March 16, 1932. The suspect, now 41, was returned to Pennsylvania where on April 30, 1932, he pleaded guilty to second degree murder and sentenced to nine to 18 years in prison. He was pardoned on May 7, 1938.

Officer Thomas had served with the Washington City Police Department for only a few months. He was survived by his wife and 10 children.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 3 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to 18 years

Ambush, retaliation

Most Recent Reflection

View all 8 Reflections

Officer Thomas,
On today, the 100th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Washington City. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

May 26, 2022

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.