Police Officer James Holmes

Police Officer James Holmes

New York City Housing Authority Police Department, New York

End of Watch Sunday, March 23, 1986

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James Holmes

Police Officer James Holmes was shot and killed while off-duty when a man attempted to rob him around 10:15 p.m.

Officer Holmes was visiting a friend at 361 Livonia Avenue in Brooklyn. After entering the building he was approached by a man who attempted to rob him. Officer Holmes resisted and the suspect was able to knock Officer holmes unconscious. The suspect then stole Officer Holmes' firearm and fled. He then immediately returned and shot Officer Holmes multiple times in the stomach and chest, killing him.

The suspect was arrested after he told his probation officer that he thought he might be wanted for killing a police officer. He was later convicted of second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was sentenced to 32 1/2 years to life in prison.

Officer Holmes had served with the New York City Housing Authority Police Department for 17 years and was survived by his wife and four children. He was assigned to Service Area 3.


  • Age 47
  • Tour 17 years
  • Badge 2875

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to 24 years in prison

off duty, robbery attempt

Most Recent Reflection

View all 24 Reflections

On March 23 1986 I was the Patrol Supervisor in the 73 pct when the call 10-13 MOS shot being transported to Brookdale Hospital came over the radio. I responded and when I arrived I went into the ER and as I passed a room I saw Doctors and Nurses working on someone who had powder burns on their chest. I then realized it was the PO who was shot. They worked frantically but to no avail. The doctor turned and looked at me and handed me P.O. James Holmes shield and said I think this belongs to you. They left the room and I walked up to PO Holmes and said to him you were not alone when you died I was with you. I then told him I will make sure you are not forgotten. As I walked into the hallway I could see a woman in the distance coming towards me and I had the feeling it was a family member. I froze and just then a hand touched my shoulder and a voice said to me I will take over Sergeant. It was a Police Chaplin. All the time I held the Officers shield so tight in my hand that it imprinted on my hand. I think of him often. Every year on his EOW I write this story in a retired P.O group that I belong to. RIP my Friend and Brother.

Ret. Sgt Ed Burmeister

May 13, 2019

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