Patrolman Robert H. Holmes

Patrolman Robert H. Holmes

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Monday, August 6, 1917

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Robert H. Holmes

Patrolman Robert Holmes was shot and killed in a running gun battle with a burglar in Harlem. Patrolman Holmes was standing on his post at the corner of Lenox Avenue and 139th Street in Manhattan, when he heard four gun shots. He ran to the sound and surprised a burglar who was climbing out of a window at 68 West 139th Street.

The burglar had entered the apartment, but was confronted by the homeowner. When confronted, the burglar fired four shots at the homeowner, missing him with each shot.

Patrolman Holmes chased the burglar down an alley, exchanging gunfire. The suspect entered a house at 14 West 138th Street and hid in a hallway. As Patrolman Holmes approached him the suspect fired two shots, striking Patrolman Holmes in the head and face, killing him.

Patrolman Holmes had served with the New York City Police Department for four years and was assigned to the 38th Precinct, the current day 32nd Precinct. At the time of his murder, he was one of only four black police officers serving with the agency.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge 9140

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

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Tomorrow will mark the 99th anniversary of this hero's death in the line of duty. At the time of his death, Police Officer Holmes was one of only a handful of African Americans who proudly served this city in the NYPD. His colleagues in blue, particularly in the 32 Pct. will always remember and honor his sacrifice. God bless and rest in peace on your eternal foot post in heaven, my brother.

Special Agent US Secret Service

August 5, 2016

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