Police Clerk Thomas J. Dillon

Fallen HeroPolice Clerk Thomas J. Dillon


On this day in Baltimore Police History, July 12 July, 1926, we lost our brother Police Clerk Thomas J. Dillon to gunfire based on the following:

Pistol Battle Due To Lack of Facilities For Insane, Longan’s View.

Vanie Lee, Discharged from Bay View, was killed by police.

Failure of the State of Maryland to provide adequate quarters and facilities for the care of mentally deficient persons in Baltimore was responsible for the pistol battle in the Northwestern District yesterday, in which nine persons, including a police clerk and four patrolman, were shot, Col. Rufus E. Longan, superintendent of the Baltimore City Hospitals, said yesterday… 

In a running pistol fight, Mr. Lee, who once was an inmate of an insane ward in Baltimore City Hospitals, was shot to death by police after he had been driven from behind parked automobiles. Thomas Dillon, a Police Clerk at the Northwestern Police Station who, although unarmed, was one of the first to close in on Mr. Lee, is in critical condition at the Colonial Hospital. Physicians, who performed an operation, said the bullet entered his chest and lodged in the spinal column. Paralyzed from the waist down, he had little chance of recovery.

It was said... Charles D. Gaither, Police Commissioner, commended highly the courage and activity of the police at the scene and particularly praised the efforts of those who were shot. “The patrolmen did everything possible under the circumstances,” Gaither said. "It is especially unfortunate that Mr. Dillon was shot, since he was unprepared for such action. Mr. Dillon volunteered when the call for reserves went out, even though the work called for was not in direct line of duty.” 

Others shot are: 

Patrolman Webster Schuman, Northwestern District. Shot in the mouth; condition serious; at the University Hospital.

Patrolman Ignatius Benesch, Northwestern District. Shot in the right hip; skull probably fractured by blow struck by Lee with empty pistol during hand-to-hand combat; at Colonial Hospital.

Police Chauffeur Leroy E. Lentz, Western District. Shot in the ankle at University Hospital.

Patrolman Howard L. Collins, Northwestern District. Shot in the right hand at Colonial Hospital.

William H. Kammerer, a druggist on Lafayette and Fremont Avenues, shot in the right leg.

Arthur Redding, 34 years old, was shot in the neck; the condition serious; at Colonial Hospital.

Calvin Howard, 16 years old, was shot in the hand and treated at the University Hospital.

Mildred Duncan is 11 years old. Shot in the abdomen; condition serious; at the Colonial Hospital. 

Lee, according to witnesses, first ran amuck in a lunchroom not far from Argyle and Lafayette Avenues, where most of the shooting occurred. After quarreling with Arthur Redding, the proprietor, he ran out on the sidewalk. Redding followed and struck Lee, witnesses said. Lee then drew a pistol and shot his assailant in the neck. After this, he went home to 635 West Lafayette Avenue and soon reappeared armed with a rifle and another pistol. Sitting on the steps in front of his home, with the rifle across his knees and his pistols nearby, Lee calmly smoked a cigar, witnesses declared. Meanwhile, residents had notified Rex Moore, the telephone operator at the Northwestern Police Station, that a crazy man had shot another and was terrorizing the neighborhood. The police of the Western District were asked to send the patrol, while Police Clerk Dillon, Patrolman Schuman, and Patrolman Collins set out for the scene of the shooting in a Police Department automobile. First on the scene, Patrolman Schuman jumped from the automobile and found cover in the doorway of a grocery store, as bullets from Lee’s weapons struck the glass front of the store. A bullet from Lee’s rifle penetrated two large plate glass windows and wounded Patrolman Schuman in the mouth. The policeman was later rescued by other patrolmen and sent to the hospital. As Police Clerk Dillon ran to Patrolman Schuman’s side, he was shot in the chest. Lee was eventually shot and killed by responding patrolmen. Both Police Clerk Dillon and Patrolman Schuman succumbed to their injuries.

We, his brothers and sisters of the Baltimore Police Department, will not let him be forgotten. God bless, and rest in peace. His service "honored" the City of Baltimore and the Police Department. RIP Officer Murphy.

More details

End of Watch 12 July, 1926
City, St.    635 West Lafayette Avenue
Panel Number N/A
Cause of Death     Gunfire
Weapon - Handgun
District Worked Northwestern

1 black devider 800 8 72


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