Detective Patrick Edward Fitzgerald

Detective Patrick Edward Fitzgerald

Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Friday, April 12, 1901

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Patrick Edward Fitzgerald

Detective Patrick Fitzgerald was shot and killed while investigating a robbery and murder of a grocery store owner which had occurred earlier in the morning in the Mount Washington section of the city.

He and other detectives identified multiple suspects through informants and went to their boarding house at 32 Fulton Street, Allegheny City (present-day North Side). While at the scene Detective Fitzgerald was shot and killed as he and other officers entered the room. After a brief shootout inside the room, three suspects, two of whom were brothers, were arrested and charged with the murder of the grocer.

In June 1901, during the trial, all three suspects were implicated in 27 burglaries that had occurred in Pittsburgh since the beginning of the year. All three suspects were found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in the murder of the grocer. One of the suspects' death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment for his earlier testimony against the brothers during the trial.

On January 30th, 1902, shortly before their execution date the two suspects escaped from the Allegheny County Jail with the help of the warden's wife, who had smuggled them hacksaws and guns. The suspects were located by a posse two days later near Butler, Pennsylvania. As the posse closed in on them a shootout ensued and both suspects were shot and killed. During the shootout, both suspects attempted suicide. The warden's wife also attempted suicide but survived and was charged in connection with the escape.

Detective Fitzgerald had served with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police for 24 years. He was survived by his wife and six children.

Bio

  • Age 45
  • Tour 24 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed

arrest attempt, homicide investigation

Most Recent Reflection

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No passage of time will ever erase your service and sacrifice. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

April 12, 2021

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