Substitute Officer Charles J. Coots

Substitute Officer Charles J. Coots

San Francisco Police Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, April 26, 1877

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Charles J. Coots

Substitute Officer Charles Coots was shot and killed after arresting a suspect for disorderly behavior.

Officer Coots was walking the Pine Street beat and was called to a house to quiet a disturbance. Officer Coots moved two suspects along and resumed his patrol. Officer Coots was later called to another disturbance involving the two suspects. He placed one suspect under arrest and while he was walking the suspect to the City Hall Police Station, he was shot and killed by the second suspect at the corner of Brenham Place and Clay Street.

Both suspects were captured and charged with murder. The suspect who fired the shot at Officer Coots was executed by hanging on April 26th, 1878, exactly one year after the murder.

Officer Coots had served with the San Francisco Police Department for 18 months. He was survived by his wife and several children.

In 1902 Officer Coots' photograph was installed at the San Francisco Police Headquarters, along with four other officers killed in the line of duty, where it was displayed until the California earthquake of 1906 when all of the portraits were lost.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 1 year, 6 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Executed in 1878

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Officer was buried in Lone Mountain Cemetery of San Francisco which no longer exists; officer apparently reburied in unknown grave at Colma south of San Francisco


September 23, 2017

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