Detective William J. Grooms

Detective William J. Grooms

Kansas City Police Department, Missouri

End of Watch Saturday, June 17, 1933

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William J. Grooms

Detective William Grooms was one of four law enforcement officers killed in an incident referred to as the Kansas City Massacre.

Detective Grooms was survived by his wife.

The Kansas City Massacre occurred when the Pretty Boy Floyd gang attempted to free gang member Frank Nash.

Nash was being transported from Oklahoma to the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. Unbeknownst to the officers, an informant had relayed all the information regarding Nash's arrival and his law enforcement escorts to various gangsters throughout the area.

As the group of officers and agents entered their cars at Union Station, in Kansas City, the gang opened fire. In the ensuing gun battle Detective Frank Hermanson and Detective William Grooms, of the Kansas City Police Department, Chief of Police Otto Read, of the McAlester Police Department, Oklahoma, and Special Agent Raymond Caffrey, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, were shot and killed. Frank Nash, the prisoner the gang was trying to free, was also shot and killed.

Pretty Boy Floyd was shot and killed the following year during a shootout with officers. A second gang member was arrested and executed for the murders, and the third gang member was found dead from an unrelated murder.

A little over one year later an officer who was present at the scene became emotionally unstable because of the incident and went on a shooting rampage, killing Patrolman Grant Schroder of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department.

Bio

  • Age 29
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; Machine gun
  • Offender One executed

escape attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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Kansas City Police recruits honor officers who died before them in the Union Station Massacre

Posted by Fox 4 News September 6, 2019

KCPD honors Union Station Massacre victims

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- June 17, 1933 is an infamous date in the city's history.

That's the date of the Union Station Massacre, when Kansas City gained a national reputation for organized crime.

On this day, two Kansas City police officers, an FBI agent and a police chief from Oklahoma were all gunned down in front of Union Station as part of a failed attempt to free mobster Frank Nash.

Police recruits took time Friday morning, Sept. 6, 2019, to honor the four fallen law enforcement officers killed 86 years ago. The class ran to the memorial and did push-ups to honor their memories.

Officers said it's important to never forget the sacrifices made by those who came before them. They said a tight bond among law enforcement is critical for their safety and security now more than ever.

"Just like KCPD, nationally, all law enforcement understands the sacrifices that are made, and we are always remembering those who have fallen and those that were here before us," Capt. Tim Hernandez, of the KCPD, said. "Including the McAlester, Oklahoma, police department and FBI, we are all one big family.

Paying tribute to officers killed in the line of duty is a team building tradition among police recruits.

"Out of the 750,000 law enforcement officers throughout the nation, we always remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice," Hernandez said.

So far this year, 85 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty nation-wide, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

As for the perpetrators of the Union Station Massacre, they didn't survive much longer than the officers. Vernon Miller was found dead a couple of months later. Police killed Pretty Boy Floyd in another shootout the next year. Adam Richetti was captured in the same incident and executed in 1938.

Retired Police Officer
NYPD

September 7, 2019

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