Special Officer William R. Rank

Special Officer William R. Rank

Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Police, Railroad Police

End of Watch Saturday, June 16, 1906

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William R. Rank

Special Officer William Rank succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained on May 15th, 1906, while attempting to arrest a trespasser in the Rutherford Yards near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Officer Rank observed a man jumping on an outbound freight train. As he attempted to arrest the man, the subject drew a handgun and shot him in the neck.

The man who shot Officer Rank was identified as a local farmhand but fled the area after the shooting. It is not known if he was ever apprehended.

Officer Rank was taken to a hospital in Harrisburg where he remained for one week. He was discharged from the hospital and remained at his home until passing away from his wound on June 16th, 1906.


  • Age 25
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Pennsylvania
  • Incident Date Tuesday, May 15, 1906
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Charged with murder


Most Recent Reflection

View all 3 Reflections

Officer Rank, it never fails to amaze me how many over the years turned what would be a simple 'trespass' arrest into murder. Why? We'll never know, although there are no doubt many reasons, but none good.

Brother, thank you for helping to protect one of America's greatest assets, it's railroads. May God Bless you and may you forever Rest in Peace.

Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Department

July 20, 2020

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