Patrolman Louis Golonka

Patrolman Louis Golonka

Cleveland Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Tuesday, July 23, 1968

Louis Golonka

Patrolman Golonka, Lieutenant Leroy Jones, and Patrolman Willard Wolff were shot and killed during the Glenville Riots.

Patrolman Golonka was a U.S. Navy veteran and had served with the Cleveland Police Department for nine years. He was survived by his wife, daughter, and two sons.

The five days of riots began in the city's Glenville neighborhood when two civilian tow truck drivers, wearing uniforms similar to police uniforms, were shot in an ambush by heavily armed snipers while checking an abandoned car.

Over 50 officers responded to the initial shooting call and were ambushed by heavily armed militants. A total of seven people were killed and 15 wounded in the ensuing gunfire. Patrolman Wolff was one of the first officers on the scene and was shot in the face by a high-powered rifle. Lieutenant Jones was shot and killed while on foot at the corner of East 124th and Auburndale. Patrolman Golonka was shot and killed when he and other officers pursued several of the snipers into an alley and exchanged gunfire with them.

The leader of the militant group eventually turned himself in after 200 National Guard personnel were mobilized. The man was convicted and sentenced to death in the electric chair. Several of the other militants were arrested and convicted as well.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; Semi-automatic
  • Offender Sentenced to death

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Galonka,
On today, the 49th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you to you and your two two fellow Officers who were also shot and killed in that riot for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Cleveland. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

July 23, 2017

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