Officer Oscar W. Christensen

Officer Oscar W. Christensen

South Bend Police Department, Indiana

End of Watch Tuesday, May 11, 1897

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Oscar W. Christensen

Officer Oscar Christensen was accidentally shot and killed by a railroad detective along the tracks of the Lake Shore railroad between Michigan and St. Joseph Streets.

Officer Christensen was investigating vandalism in the railroad yards at the time. There had been reports of many hobos in the yards, and it was presumed that one of them was responsible for the killing. Several hours after the killing, a railroad detective was arrested for his murder but claimed it was a mistake. The detective was charged with his murder, but all charges were dropped after two mistrials.

Officer Christensen had served with the South Bend Police Department for over a year and had previously served as a guard with the Michigan City penitentiary for four years. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 5 years, 6 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)

mistaken identity

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Christensen,
On today, the 125th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of South Bend.


United States Border Patrol

May 11, 2022

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