Chief of Police William M. Cann

Chief of Police William M. Cann

Union City Police Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, August 29, 1974

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William M. Cann

Chief of Police William Cann succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained on June 11th, 1974, when he was shot during a community meeting to discuss the relations between the police department and the Hispanic community.

The meeting was being held in Our Lady of the Rosary Church at 703 C Street. Five shots were fired from a .30-caliber rifle through a window from approximately 60 feet away. Chief Cann was hit twice in the neck and three civilians were shot. The three civilians survived.

The suspect, a former member of a militant group, was convicted of second-degree murder.

Chief Cann had served as the Chief of the Union City Police Department for 15 months. He had previously served with the San Anselmo Police Department, Novato Police Department, and San Bruno Police Department.


  • Age 32
  • Tour 11 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Tuesday, June 11, 1974
  • Weapon Rifle; .30 caliber
  • Offender Convicted of murder

ambush, sniper

Most Recent Reflection

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My Dad John “EJ” Coady was an officer at Union City from 1966 to 1977, I remember him leaving the house in a huge rush that day kid,. Then in 1989 it was strange , my brother Matt and I were on leave from Germany, We were sitting in the living room talking about that, and my dad stopped mid Conversation and said “what’s the date?!” “I’ll be damned”, “that was 15 years ago today”!, I’ll be damned! He was one of the pallbearers, i’m glad they caught the murderer six years later.

SSG(R) Kevin Coady US Army
my Dad John “EJ” Coady 1966-1977

January 17, 2021

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