Police Officer John Otto Hessler

Police Officer John Otto Hessler

Ecorse Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Thursday, August 12, 1943

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John Otto Hessler

Police Officer John Hessler was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a suspect for murdering his estranged wife's friend on White Street between Monroe and High Streets in Ecorse.

Officer Hessler and another officer were patrolling the area when they spotted the suspect. Two hours earlier, the suspect had killed a man in front of several witnesses at his estranged wife's boarding house. When Officer Hessler stepped out of the patrol car to arrest the man, the subject shot him in the head. The subject fired two more shots towards the other officer, but the bullets struck the vehicle. The second officer fired twice at the suspect, wounding him as he fled. The subject ran down the street and surrendered to a third officer. The man was transported to Wyandotte Hospital, where he died from his injuries two hours later.

Officer Hessler succumbed to his injuries in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Officer Hessler was a United States Army veteran of WWI and had served with the Ecorse Police Department for 17 years. He was survived by a wife and son.


  • Age 56
  • Tour 17 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

domestic, arrest attempt, murder suspect

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Hessler,
On today, the 80th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Army during World War I.


United States Border Patrol

August 12, 2023

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