Detective Shea, Detective Thomas, and Detective 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-inmates were responsible for the robbery. Five detectives went to arrest the suspects in a house on Pine Street where the Soldier's Memorial is currently located.
As they approached they encountered one of the suspects 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 suspects. Following a five-minutes shootout the detectives and both suspects were fatally wounded.
The suspect who was apprehended was sentenced to 27 years in prison. On November 24, 1905, he helped stage a prison revolt in which Officer John Clay and Officer 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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