Detective Sergeant Joseph Peter Husken

Detective Sergeant Joseph Peter Husken

Detroit Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Saturday, April 17, 1943

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Joseph Peter Husken

Sergeant Joseph Husken, Lieutenant Phillip Ellenstein, and Lieutenant David Morris were all shot when they went to investigate a burglar alarm at 25 Campus Martius that had been triggered at the Morton Bond Company.

When they arrived, they were met with gunfire, and Lieutenant Ellenstein was killed. Lieutenant Morris was removed to the hospital, where he died two days later.

Sergeant Husken was taken to a local hospital with bullets in his spine and abdomen. He survived the injuries, though, and was able to identify the suspects, who were sentenced to life in prison. For several years after the shooting, Sergeant Husken worked at police headquarters since his paralyzed left leg prevented him from performing patrol duties. Eventually, he was placed on the permanent sick list. He died in 1943. Doctors said the bullet wounds he suffered 22 years earlier caused his death.

All four men were apprehended four months later. Two were apprehended after they robbed a post office in Toledo, Ohio. Another was captured in Chicago. One was sent to the Maryland Penitentiary and was later shot and killed when he tried to escape.

Sergeant Husken served with the Detroit Police Department for 16 years. He was survived by his wife, two daughters, and a son.


  • Age 61
  • Tour 16 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Monday, January 31, 1921
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life in prison


Most Recent Reflection

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Det. Sgt. Husken,
On today, the 80th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Detroit. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

April 17, 2023

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