Sergeant John Charles Hawley

Sergeant John Charles Hawley

Elmira Police Department, New York

End of Watch Sunday, January 8, 1984

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John Charles Hawley

Sergeant John Hawley was accidentally shot and killed by a fellow officer while retreating from a shootout with two heavily armed subjects at the Jones Court Apartments on Baldwin Street.

The two men had just been released from prison and were planning a crime spree to murder police officers and district attorney staff members. Officers located the men in an apartment after they abducted a cab driver.

As the SWAT team attempted to enter the apartment they came under heavy fire and two officers were wounded. Sergeant Hawley took up a position in the living room to offer cover to the other members who were retreating. He then escaped through a living room window and began to run from the apartment complex when he was shot as the result of an accidental discharge by another officer.

The other officer, who had been guarding the perimeter for 45 minutes in sub-zero temperatures, attempted to reposition himself on the ground and his shotgun discharged, striking Sergeant Hawley. The barricaded subjects later committed murder-suicide, ending the standoff.

Sergeant Hawley had served with the Elmira Police Department for 17 years. He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 17 years
  • Badge 47

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)

accidental discharge, barricade, swat

Most Recent Reflection

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Well Sarge, I wrote a memo on the 8th of Jan, 2020, but I must have failed to send it or something, so I have decided to send this one in it's place.
I still think of you and Joey Marrone every day at some point and how we would joke and laugh about simple things as good friend do but on the 8th., of January 1984 there was nothing to laugh about and no-one to laugh with, you were gone and Joey was seriously wounded... Joey recovered to survive for a few years and then he was gone, two good guys gone too soon.
Captain Mike Ross and I were just talking about it last week, Mike said that you were the most squared off Cop he ever knew and that Joey was one of the guys you could always depend on and I agreed with that, it summed up what you two guys were, great friends and dependable to the end.
Al Wilson Elmira City Police Captain retired.

Al Wilson Captain Retired
Elmira City Police Captain retired

January 28, 2020

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