Sergeant Timothy J. Cantlin

Sergeant Timothy J. Cantlin

Buffalo Police Department, New York

End of Watch Sunday, January 12, 1896

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Timothy J. Cantlin

Sergeant Cantlin was shot and killed by a Buffalo Patrolman he planned to make a complain against. Sergeant Cantlin found the patrolman off his beat and inside a bar. When the Patrolman exited the bar, Sergeant Cantlin approached him and told him he was suspended. He ordered the Patrolman back to the station house where a complaint to the Captain would be filed. The Patrolman asked Sergeant Cantlin to forget about filing a complaint, but Sergeant Cantlin replayed "I can't do it, you have to go to the station house and see the Captain about it."

"Take that, then," the Patrolman said and he fired a shot into Sergeant Cantlin's right side. Sergeant Cantlin fell to the ground and the Patrolman walked to the station house, telling the reserve officers inside that he was there to warm up.

Sergeant Cantlin had lay were he fell for half an hour, but never lost consciousness. Taking his whistle from his pocket he blew alarms until he attracted the attention of another Patrolman, who he told what had happened. Sergeant Cantlin was removed to the hospital where he later died.

The Patrolman who shot Sergeant Cantlin lit his pipe and chatted with the reserve officers for a short time and started out of the station house when the Patrolman who had found Sergeant Cantlin approached him and said "You are under arrest for shooting Sergeant Cantlin."

He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in Auburn state prison. He was pardoned by Governor Higgins in 1910.

Sergeant Cantlin was assigned to Precinct 7.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Pardoned in 1910

Most Recent Reflection

View all 6 Reflections

I discovered Timothy's work as a policeman and his murder several years ago. Timothy was my Grandfather Thomas J. Cantlin's first cousin. I had him listed in my genealogy records for some years before a distant nephew of his with whom I was in contact told me about Tim's work as a policeman in Buffalo and his murder. He left five very young children for his wife to care for. Such a sad result of serving the public in their protection.

I am wondering if anyone connected with the Buffalo Police Department can lead me to information as to where Tim was buried or any other information about him. I have not yet been able to discover that. I presume it was somewhere in Buffalo. He was from Perrysburg, NY, and most of his family had moved to Conneaut, OH, by the time of Tim's murder so the men could work for the Nickel Plate Railroad there. His eldest brother, John William, was crushed to death between two railroad cars in the Conneaut train yard when he was only 56. I've visited his grave in that city.

I hope any who remain in Timothy's line are supported by fond memories of that brave police officer.

Gil Cantlin

Gilbert Cantlin
Second cousin, twice removed

November 2, 2011

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