Patrolman John Chapman

Patrolman John Chapman

Rockland Police Department, Maine

End of Watch Wednesday, February 16, 1938

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John Chapman

Patrolman Chapman was shot and killed by a suspect he had arrested earlier in the day. Patrolman Chapman had arrested the 60-year-old suspect for public drunkenness. After being released from custody, the suspect returned home and obtained a handgun. He later confronted Patrolman Chapman in downtown Rockland. The suspect pointed the gun at Patrolman Chapman and said, "How quick are you on the draw?" Before Patrolman Chapman could react, the suspect shot him once in the head, killing him.

The suspect was caught hours later and confessed to the crime at a little before 1 AM. After a brief committal in the state psychiatric hospital in Bangor, he pleaded guilty to murder in May 1938 and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was denied a pardon on June 7, 1951.


  • Age 39
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .32 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to Life Imprisonment

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Chapman, it has been 86 years since you were taken from us. New England law enforcement has continued to thrive, learn and become safer due to the traditions and sacrifices you, your family, and many others have made for us. Thank you for your years of law enforcement service.

Chief (Ret) Steven Marshall
Georges Mills, NH

February 16, 2024

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