He was survived by his wife and two children.
Lieutenant William Smith and Officer Thomas Ward were shot and killed after responding to the scene of an armed robbery on Meramec Street.
Passersby had alerted the officers to the robbery and several officers surrounded the building. As the robbers came out, an intense shootout erupted. The getaway driver fled the scene, leaving the three armed men alone.
A running gun battle took them to a house on Minnesota Street where the men took refuge in the basement. As officers attempted to surround the house, both Lieutenant Smith and Officer Ward were shot. All of the suspects were eventually apprehended.
Officer Ward succumbed to his wounds the following day and Lieutenant Smith succumbed to his wounds one month later. Lieutenant Smith was promoted to Lieutenant one day after he was shot. At the time of the incident he held the rank of sergeant.
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