Constable Joseph E. English

Constable Joseph E. English

Wasco Police Department, California

End of Watch Saturday, August 15, 1936

Joseph E. English

Constable Joseph English was shot and killed by a man in a local pool hall. The suspect later claimed that he had not meant to shoot Constable English, but rather the part-owner of the pool hall who was standing with Constable English at the time. When the suspect entered the pool hall and took aim with his gun, Constable English reached for his weapon and the suspect then shot Constable English four times (two in the chest, and two in the back as he fell).

The suspect fled, but was chased down by civilians from the hall and on the street. The suspect was taken into custody before a riot could break out. The suspect was convicted of first degree murder on November 10, 1936, and sentenced to life in prison. He was paroled on November 20, 1951.

Constable English had been with the agency for 18 months and was survived by his wife and daughter, his mother, brother, half brother, and sister.


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

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Paroled in 1951

Most Recent Reflection

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As a former resident of the the neighboring city of Shafter, thank you for your service to your city and the nation. Many years ago you gave your life in the performance of your duties. Our gratefulness for that act continues to this day, 81 years later.

Stan Jefferson
Citizen of Arizona

August 15, 2017

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