Patrolman Charles J. Walsh
12 January 1871 - Patrolman Charles J. Walsh - On this day in Police History 1871 - We lost our brother Patrolman Charles J. Walsh to accidental gunfire based on the following - Via the morning hour at approximately 1:30 O’clock, or just as the Coroner’s inquest was dated and time stamped, Policeman Charles J. Walsh was shot by his own hand and with his own pistol – The reports have these events taking place on yesterday’s date, (12 January 1871) at or within approximately five minutes of Police Division C’s shift change. This being easily detected as Shift B and Shift C had just swapped positions at the Western Stationhouse, and the report of a .38 Caliber handgun at that hour on the small, tight, almost alley sized streets of Baltimore in the late 1800’s were very distinguishable. The officers in charge of the station heard the loud report(s) of that a small caliber pistol. The sound apparently coming from the Baltimore Street side of the station, more in the direction of Pearl Street. Sgt. Zimmerman and Policemen Burkins, Earhart, and McKee quickly ran to the area from which the sound emanated, where they found Policeman Charles .J Walsh lying face down in the street. Closer examination revealed he was bleeding from an apparent entry wound to his head. Officer Walsh having just arrived on his beat was said to have been found by his brother officers to be lying face down in a small puddle of his own blood, his pistol under his upper body, with one of the barrel’s discharged. His Espantoon and belt lying alongside him; he was carried to the station-house, and Prof. Baxter quickly summons to same. Upon arrival to the station, Prof Baxter discovered that the ball had penetrated the center of Officer Walsh’s forehead and passed through his skull and into his brain, causing the fatal wound. The unfortunate man lingered in an unconscious state until about quarter past 3 o’clock when he expired. Dr. Spicer, city coroner, yesterday morning summoned the following jury of inquest, - Dr. E R Baer, (Foreman) John Williams, E. R. Riddell, John Turnbull Junior, A. C. Pracht, T. Kearn good, Charles Stewart, E. T. Schultz, William T Toles, Alex, Towson, E. S. Parish, and James Maddox, before whom the following testimony was elicited: Policeman William Burkins testified that he was passing along Baltimore Street, coming toward Green, at the time and went between pro-and Green he looked across the street and saw the deceased passing directly afterwards he heard the deceased stick drop was particularly attracted; witnesses attention to him, a moment afterwards witness saw the flash, and heard the report of the pistol: ran across the street towards him, but before he could reach him, the deceased spun around and fell: witness immediately rapped (his Espantoon) for assistance and Sgt. Zimmerman and other officers came up in a few moments on raising the deceased did they found that his pistol under him, and his belt and stick lying near him there was no person nearer him then that witness himself. Sgt. Zimmerman testified to having heard a single rap of a stick, and a moment afterward seeing the flash and heard a report of a pistol. He was at the time with his squad on Baltimore Street near Pine: went back and found that the deceased lying on the sidewalk: on raising him up found blood streaming from a wound in his forehead, and his revolver lying under him: witness, which policeman Burkins, Earhart, Smith, and McKee.
Policeman Ross testified that he had been with policeman well storing the early part of the night: deceased had been that night initiated into a lodge, after which witness went with him to his boarding house and took a lunch with him: when about to start to the station house remarked to him that he (witness) thought he had forgotten his pistol, the deceased felt in his overcoat pocket and said that he had his and that he had left it in the ante-room while being initiated for fear of an accident: deceased appeared to be in good spirits Policeman McKee testified that he parted with the deceased at the southeast corner Baltimore and Greene streets, after leaving the station house at one half o’clock in the morning as deceased left witness he said he would see him again: witness asked when: deceased in a joking manner said about the Fourth of July, a few minutes afterwards he heard the report of the pistol: went back and found the deceased lying on the pavement. The jury after hearing the evidence rendered a verdict that the deceased came to his death by accidental discharge of his own pistol. The deceased was 27 years of age and unmarried. The body was taken in charge of by a brother of the deceased, and removed to the residents of the former, number 4 Decker St., from which place to the funeral will be placed this afternoon, at 2 o’clock. It will be attended by a delegation of Police Department and by members of the order of Beptesephe, as a member of which he was initiated the night of the fatal occurrence as we take this time to remember him, and thank him for his service and sacrifice. We his brothers and sisters of the Baltimore Police Department will not let him be forgotten. God Bless and Rest in Peace.
|End of Watch||12 January, 1871|
|City, St.||Baltimore, Md|
|Cause of Death||Gunfire|
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