Sergeant Joseph Emmett Lacey

Sergeant Joseph Emmett Lacey

San Francisco Police Department, California

End of Watch Sunday, December 30, 1956

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Joseph Emmett Lacey

Sergeant Lacey was shot and killed when two armed men attempted to rob Eddies' Cocktail Lounge at 502 Ellis Street.

Sergeant Lacey, who was off-duty, was enjoying a holiday drink with a friend when two men entered the tavern and ordered everyone to "turn around with your hands up." He attempted to draw his gun but was shot and killed before he could. The subjects fled without taking any money. Sergeant Lacey died en route to Mission Emergency Hospital.

The shooter's accomplice was arrested soon after and plead guilty to first-degree murder. The shooter was arrested three years later and was found guilty of second-degree murder.

Sergeant Lacey was a United States Navy World War II veteran and had served with the San Francisco Police Department for 14 years. He was survived by his sister and four brothers.

His nephew, Sergeant Brian McDonnell, was killed in the line of duty in 1970.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 14 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Both apprehended and convicted

convicted felon, off-duty, robbery in progress

Most Recent Reflection

View all 11 Reflections

While cleaning out my grandparent house I came across a picture and article about Joe Lacy. The story my Aunt told me was that my dad found the gun that was used, and flew to SF to testify.
I was just curious as to what happened and what part my dad played in the trial.

Carrie M Pinkham-Johnson
Daughter to witness Clifford Ray Pinkham

January 20, 2019

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