Officer Hugh Burns

Officer Hugh Burns

Indianapolis Police Department, Indiana

End of Watch Monday, August 28, 1882

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Hugh Burns

Officer Hugh Burns was shot and killed while investigating the sounds of gunfire while he was off duty.

He was sitting on his front porch when he heard a commotion and a gunshot come from in front of a saloon at the corner of Garden Street and Tennessee Street (modern-day Capitol Avenue). When he went to investigate he observed a man holding a revolver and yelling at bystanders.

Despite being unarmed, Officer Burns approached the man, put his hand on his shoulder and informed him he was under arrest. The man immediately shot Officer Burns in the chest, just below the neck, killing him instantly. The subject fled the scene but was arrested a short time later. He was charged with murder but acquitted at trial after claiming self-defense.

Officer Burns had been appointed to the Indianapolis Police Department only three months prior. He was survived by his wife.


  • Age 34
  • Tour 3 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Acquitted

arrest attempt, off duty, shots fired

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