Detective Dwyer was survived by his wife and two sons.
Detectives Thomas Dwyer, John Shea, and James McCluskey were shot and killed while attempting to arrest two armed robbery suspects wanted for robbing an Illinois Central train.
After several months of investigation, the detectives received a tip from a prison guard that he thought three ex-cons were responsible for the robbery. Five detectives went to arrest the ex-cons in a house on Pine Street where the Soldier's Memorial is currently located.
As they approached, they encountered one of the ex-cons and took him into custody. Two of the detectives took this suspect to the station as the other three proceeded into the home. As the detectives entered a darkened room, they were ambushed by the other two ex-cons. Following a five-minutes shootout, the detectives and both ex-cons were fatally wounded.
The ex-con who was apprehended was sentenced to 27 years in prison.
On November 24, 1905, he helped stage a prison revolt in which Officers John Clay and Ephriam Allison, of the Missouri Department of Corrections, were killed. He along with two other inmates were convicted of murder and hanged on June 27, 1907.
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