Police Officer James Lynch

Police Officer James Lynch

Rahway Police Department, New Jersey

End of Watch Wednesday, February 26, 1919

James Lynch

Officer Lynch and Officer Jacob Kraus were shot and killed as they searched for a suspect in an assault case.

Officer Lynch was off-duty and in plain cloths when he came upon a fight in front of a pool hall in the area of Irving Street and Central Avenue. The crown recognized him as a police officer and fled on foot. One of the men that was involved in the fight sustained facial injuries and Officer Lynch escorted him to police headquarters for treatment for his injuries.

While walking him to Headquarters, Officer Lynch observed that one of the suspects that had fled was wearing a red sweater and was hiding in a hallway at 8 Main Street. Leaving the victim at Headquarters, Officer Lynch returned to the Main Street Address with Officer Kraus to look for the man in the red sweater. When they arrived, the suspect was gone. The officers entered the building and proceeded up the stairs to an apartment and knocked on the door. They requested permission to enter "in the name of the law to secure a man that had been seen entering the house". When the door opened, the man inside opened fire with a .45-caliber handgun, killing both officers.

The suspect was apprehended and charged with murder. He was not, however, the suspect that the officers were originally searching for. That suspect was later located and it was determined that he has nothing to do with the murder of Officer Lynch or Officer Kraus.

The suspect that shot the officers was later found not guilty at trial, claiming that he believed the men entering his apartment were thieves and did not realize they were police officers.

Officer Lynch had served with the Rahway Police Department for two years.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Found not guilty

Most Recent Reflection

View all 7 Reflections

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 91rst anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya


February 26, 2010

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