Patrolman William T. Cavanaugh

Photo of Patrolman William T. Cavanaugh
End of Watch: Wed, Apr 8th, 1936
Date of Incident: Tue, Apr 7th, 1936
Cause of Death: Gunfire (Intentional)
Service Time: Not Known
Age: 32


Patrolman Cavanaugh succumbed to gunshot wounds received the previous day after attempting to stop a robbery on East 21st Street. He was off duty and eating with his wife at a local tavern when a man entered and began robbing the establishment. Patrolman Cavanaugh drew his weapon and fired on the suspect, who then fled on foot. Patrolman Cavanaugh gave chase and in a running shootout was mortally wounded. The suspect was apprehended several days later.

The 32-year-old suspect was convicted of first degree murder and was the first person to be put to death in Missouri's new gas chamber on March 4, 1938.

Information obtained from the Officer Down Memorial Page.


Kansas City Police Department Patch
1125 Locust Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64106
(816) 234-5180


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