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 immediately returned and shot Officer Holmes multiple times in the stomach and chest, killing him.

The suspect, 21, 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. He has a parole hearing in July of 2023.

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


  • Age 47
  • Tour 17 years
  • Badge 2875

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to 32.5 years in prison

off duty, robbery attempt

Most Recent Reflection

View all 28 Reflections

I was born on February 3, 1986. 48 days before Officer Holmes’ EOW. My father served 9 years with The New York City Transit Police Department.

Officer James Holmes was my grandfather…

After 37 years, I am just now discovering the many memories shared on this page of my grandfather. And I’ve never been more proud to be a 3rd generation law enforcement officer than I am today. It truly warms my heart to read such great things about my grandfather’s character and kindness; something I can only hope to continue in such a demanding career, and in life.

My brother has served 20 years in the USMC and will soon retire, having had an amazing career. I only wish our grandfather was able to see us follow his footsteps of service.

Thank you all for your sharing.

Deputy A. Holmes
Marin County Sheriffs Department

March 25, 2023

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