Patrolman Joseph Francis Gaetano

Patrolman Joseph Francis Gaetano

Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Friday, June 10, 1966

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Joseph Francis Gaetano

Patrolman Joseph Gaetano was shot and killed by a prisoner who gained control of his service revolver in the elevator of the Public Safety Building while transporting him from the Identification Section to the Number 1 cell block. The suspect was captured 90 minutes later.

The 21-year-old suspect was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life on March 17, 1968. As he was being transported from the Allegheny Jail to Western Penitentiary his wife slipped him a sawed-off shotgun. As officers subdued him the gun discharged, wounding a guard. On April 15, 1969, he received an additional 8 to 17 years for attempted escape.

Patrolman Gaetano had served with the Pittsburgh Police Department for 12 years.


  • Age 36
  • Tour 11 years, 11 months
  • Badge 1344

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life


Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace Patrolman Gaetano.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

May 14, 2020

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