Patrolman Francis J. Gilleland

Patrolman Francis J. Gilleland

Medford Police Department, Massachusetts

End of Watch Monday, July 2, 1928

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Francis J. Gilleland

Patrolman Francis Gilleland was shot and killed while attempting to stop a drug store break-in.

He was found shot to death at the entrance to an alleyway in the rear of a small store in the Medford Hillside district here early today, by two milkmen. There were bullet wounds in his head and chest. His revolver was clutched in his hand. Neighbors, aroused by the sound of four shots, told police they had seen four youths in a large touring car with red wheels and black body fleeing from the vicinity. One of the youths, they said, wore a gray suit, a soft-collared shirt and had red hair.

Investigation found an attempt been made to force a rear door of a drug store, but that entrance had not been made. The shooting occurred at the corner of Boston Avenue and North street.

Two of the suspects were picked up later the same day in Nashua and the woods near North Chelmsford were being searched for another of the suspects.

Patrolman Gllleland was a World War I veteran and served with the Medford Police Department for eight years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 34
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Two in custody

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Gilleland, today marks the 90th anniversary of your murder by filthy thugs. Their fate is not mentioned here, but we can only hope they faced true justice, if not in this world, then in the next.

You are still honored and remembered here. God Bless and may your eternal rest remain peaceful.

Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Department

July 2, 2018

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