Detective Thomas P. Conaty, Jr.

Detective Thomas P. Conaty, Jr.

Wilmington Police Department, Delaware

End of Watch Thursday, December 26, 1946

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Thomas P. Conaty, Jr.

Detective Thomas Conaty was shot and killed while questioning two youths, ages 15 and 17, about the burglary of several revolvers from a store.

Detective Conaty and another detective spotted the two boys on Seventh Street, between King Street and French Street, and called them over to their car. The detectives both got of their car and started questioning the two. Detective Conaty's partner searched one of the boys and recovered a .38 caliber revolver. The second youth suddenly ran and the detective gave chase after telling Detective Conaty that he believed the boy he had just searched had another firearm.

When the detective returned to the car he discovered Detective Conaty suffering from a fatal gunshot wound.

One of the suspects was apprehended at the scene and the other was apprehended the next day.

The 17-year-old shooter was out on a Christmas pass from a home for delinquent boys. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. He died in prison in 1985.

Detective Conaty had served with the Wilmington Police Department for six years. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge 76

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Died in prison

burglary, juvenile offender

Most Recent Reflection

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Det. Conaty,
On today, the 75th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Wilmington. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

December 26, 2021

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