Patrolman William E. Kelly

Patrolman William E. Kelly

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Tuesday, January 31, 1928

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William E. Kelly

Patrolman Kelly was shot and killed during a robbery in progress of a business on Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn. Officer Kelly was assigned to a special plainclothes detail to attempt to catch a group of robbery suspects.

Patrolman Kelly was part of a detail assigned to capture the "Pants Gang." The gang of robbers had been given that name because they forced their robbery victims to remove their pants to hinder pursuit.

Patrolman Kelly was inside the business when the three men entered and announced a holdup. As they began searching customers, they located Patrolman Kelly's badge. Patrolman Kelly immediately pulled a nearby light cord and turned off the business' lights. The suspect opened fire in the darkness, striking Patrolman Kelly in the back.

The three men fled the scene but were eventually apprehended. All three men were convicted of Patrolman Kelly's murder and executed on January 24, 1929.

Patrolman Kelly was assigned to the 37th Precinct, the present day 67th Precinct.


  • Age 33
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge 9096

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Executed in 1929

robbery attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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Researching a William E Kelley a Brooklyn Clerk who signed Naturalization papers on 12/1/1921 for my husbands grandfather I came across this tragic heartbreaking event of a man with the same name.
My tears join others at the senseless loss of this law enforcer.
May his memory be eternal.

Stavroula Raia

December 1, 2022

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