Corporal John Michael Frontczak

Corporal John Michael Frontczak

Montgomery County Police Department, Maryland

End of Watch Monday, March 29, 1976

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John Michael Frontczak

Corporal John Frontczak and Captain James Daly were shot and killed as they attempted to arrest a man who had just robbed a Potomac Savings and Loan Association office.

Minutes after the teller phoned in a description of the suspect and his vehicle to police, Corporal Frontczak radioed that he had spotted the car on Democracy Boulevard near the Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. Captain Daly joined Corporal Frontczak in pursuing the vehicle into a field near the shopping center. As the two officers got out of their vehicles and drew their weapons, the suspect opened fire with a shotgun, striking Corporal Frontczak in the face and Captain Daly in the head. Each officer fired once at the suspect before collapsing.

A third officer discovered the wounded officers and called for medical assistance. Both were rushed to Suburban Hospital in extremely critical condition. Captain Daly was removed from life support on March 28 after doctors determined that his injuries had rendered him brain dead. Corporal Frontczak succumbed to his injuries 21 hours later.

Two days after the shooting, a man informed police that his son, a high school drop-out who was AWOL from the Army, might be involved. The South Carolina Highway Patrol placed the suspect under arrest several hours later. He was charged with the murders of Corporal Frontczak and Captain Daly, as well as the slaying of a 17-year old boy that had taken place in August of 1975. The suspect pled guilty to all charges, confessing that he had shot the officers because they had drawn their weapons and that he had shot the 17-year old in the back simply because he wanted to shoot someone, and the boy was the first to walk by him. He was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences but was allowed out on furloughs ten years later.

Corporal Frontczak had served with the Montgomery County Police Department for nine years. He was survived by his wife and two sons.

Bio

  • Age 32
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Friday, March 26, 1976
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

robbery

Most Recent Reflection

View all 27 Reflections

I was the Administrator on call at Suburban Hospital on the day of the shooting. I remember it like it was yesterday. The hospital staff knew at the outset that these were fatal injuries. We worked very hard in hopes of a miracle and at the same time we also directed attention to the families of Cpl Frontczak and Capt. Daly as well as the hundreds of police officers who kept vigil. It was a very sad time and I will remember both officers and their families forever.

Robert Kiely
Former staff member Suburban Hospital

October 13, 2022

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