Detective Lieutenant Philip Ellenstein

Detective Lieutenant Philip Ellenstein

Detroit Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Monday, January 31, 1921

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Philip Ellenstein

Lieutenant Ellenstein, Lieutenant Morris and Sergeant Husken were all shot when they went to investigate a burglar alarm that had been triggered at the Morton Bond Company. 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.

Lieutenant Ellenstein had served with the agency 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

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Today, January 31, 2020 marks the 99th year since my grandfather Detective Lieutenant Philip Ellenstein was killed in the line of duty protecting the citizens of the city of Detroit. I alone am left to remember him and the sacrifice he gave so many years ago. He is on the wall of heroes along with so many of his brave comrades of the Detroit Police Department. Faithful to his duty.

Philip Samuels

January 31, 2020

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