Patrolman Elmer Glaefke

Patrolman Elmer Glaefke

Cleveland Division of Police, Ohio

End of Watch Wednesday, September 12, 1917

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Elmer Glaefke

Patrolman Glaefke was shot and killed as he and his partner searched three men for concealed weapons at Seager Avenue and East 86th Street at 2:05 am.

As the plainclothes officers searched one of the men the other two produced handguns and opened fire, striking Patrolman Glaefke in the head, heart, and abdomen. The three men fled and were pursued by Patrolman Glaefke's partner. The three were eventually apprehended. One of the men was sentenced to life, the second was acquitted, and the third jumped bond and disappeared.

The suspect who jumped bond, Tony Lombardo, resurfaced in 1925 as one of Chicago's most famous gangsters. He used his money and power to get the murder charges against him dropped. In September of 1928 he was shot and killed in Chicago. Police were unable to determine if his assassination was ordered by a rival gangster or was retaliation for Patrolman Glaefke's murder.

The suspect who was sentenced to life was pardoned by Ohio Governor Vic Donahey in 1926. On April 2, 1930, his body was found in the gutter of an east side Cleveland street. He had been shot in the head.

Patrolman Glaefke was survived by his wife, son, and daughter.


  • Age 34
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

article search, foot pursuit, plainclothes

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NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Ohio Attorneys General Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Patrolman Elmer Glaefke f the Cleveland Division of Police, Ohio and the additional 82 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

September 12, 2023

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