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

View all 11 Reflections

How brave a man to try to save others and gave his own life. He left behind a beautiful wife and his Family is my family. His sister was my Grandmother. She didn’t talk about it too much, but her daughter, my mother did. She spoke highly of her hero uncle Edward. I hope you have rested in peace my granduncle. Thank God for officers who serve us.

Sean Kilkenny
Grand Uncle

May 7, 2024

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