Detective Sergeant Charles F. Gradwell

Detective Sergeant Charles F. Gradwell

Elmira Police Department, New York

End of Watch Tuesday, March 23, 1915

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Charles F. Gradwell

Detective Sergeant Charles Gradwell and Chief John Finnell were shot and killed while attempting to question two burglary suspects in a rooming house on Baldwin Street. The two men they went to question were suspected in a string of recent burglaries. Both officers were shot in the room where the men were staying.

Both suspects fled the scene. One was apprehended a short time later but the other was identified but never apprehended. The suspect was convicted of murder in the second degree of Detective Sergeant Gradwell and sentenced to 20 years to life. He was paroled in 1930 and returned to Chemung County to face a 1915 burglary charge. He was convicted of burglary, sent back to prison, and released in 1935.

Detective Sergeant Gradwell had been with the agency for 28 years and was survived by his daughter.


  • Age 53
  • Tour 28 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender One apprehended


Most Recent Reflection

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Det. Sgt. Gradwell,
On today, the 103rd anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you to you and Chief for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of of Elmira. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

March 23, 2018

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