Officer William J. Kelly

Officer William J. Kelly

Jacksonville Police Department, Florida

End of Watch Wednesday, September 3, 1924

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William J. Kelly

Officer Kelly was shot and killed while attempting to arrest and take into custody some suspects at a brothel.

At about 3:15 pm Officer Kelly returned to a brothel on Cedar Street to make additional arrests after arresting a male and a female at the location. He had called for transportation from a nearby call box for the two he's arrested.

Upon returning to the house, he told the woman running the house to get ready to downtown along with some men on the porch he was also arresting. As he stood in the doorway, he was shot by someone he hadn't seen from a back room. As he tried to exit, he was shot twice more. He flagged down a passing car and despite the gun battle, the two men in the car stopped and picked up Officer Kelly and took him to St. Luke's Hospital. Both men were also seriously wounded. Officer Kelly died from his wounds two days later at 10:00 am.

The shooter fled and was captured in New York City on May 7th, 1925. He was returned to Florida, tried, found guilty of first degree murder, and sentenced to be executed. Before the sentence could be carried out he died in the county jail on March 9, 1926

Officer Kelly was survived by his expectant wife, daughter, father, two brothers, and sister.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 2 years, 5 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Monday, September 1, 1924
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Died in jail

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace always knowing that your service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

September 3, 2020

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