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 at the corner of Boston Avenue and North street while attempting to stop a drug store break-in.

Patrolman Gilleland was found shot to death at the entrance to an alleyway in the rear of a small drug store in the Medford Hillside district. There were bullet wounds in his head and chest. His revolver was clutched in his hand. Neighbors told police they had seen four youths in a large touring car with red wheels and black body fleeing from the vicinity.

An investigation found an attempt had been made to force open a rear door of the drug store, but that entrance had not been made.

Two of the suspects were picked up later the same day in Nashua and the woods near North Chelmsford but were released. The murder remains a mystery.

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 At large


Most Recent Reflection

View all 23 Reflections

Patrolman Gilleland, it has been 95 years since you were taken from us. I travel to Medford and Tufts University regularly. You would be amazed at the size of the new police station and what your little town has become. New England law enforcement has continued to thrive, learn and become safer due to the traditions and sacrifices that you and too many others have made for us. Thank you for your service.

Chief (Ret) Steven Marshall
Georges Mills, NH

July 2, 2023

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