Detective Lieutenant Philip Ellenstein

Detective Lieutenant Philip Ellenstein

Detroit Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Monday, January 31, 1921

Add to My Heroes

Philip Ellenstein

Lieutenant Phillip Ellenstein, Lieutenant David Morris, and Sergeant Joseph Husken were all shot when they went to investigate a burglar alarm at 25 Campus Martius that had been triggered at the Morton Bond Company near City Hall.

When they arrived, they were met with gunfire, and Lieutenant Ellenstein was killed. Lieutenant Morris was removed to the hospital, where he died two days later.

Sergeant Husken was taken to a local hospital with bullets in his spine and abdomen. He survived the injuries, though, and was able to identify the suspects, who were sentenced to life in prison. For several years after the shooting, Sergeant Husken worked at police headquarters since his paralyzed left leg prevented him from performing patrol duties. Eventually, he was placed on the permanent sick list. He died in 1943. Doctors said the bullet wounds he suffered 22 years earlier caused his death.

All four men were apprehended four months later. Two were apprehended after they robbed a post office in Toledo, Ohio. Another was captured in Chicago. One was sent to the Maryland Penitentiary and was later shot and killed when he tried to escape.

Lieutenant Ellenstein had served with the Detroit Police Department for 25.5 years. He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter.


  • Age 52
  • Tour 25 years, 6 months
  • Badge 348

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life in prison


Most Recent Reflection

View all 10 Reflections

Det. Lt. Ellenstein,
On today, the 100th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Detroit. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

January 31, 2021

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.