Det Sgt Frank W. Grunder, Jr.

Fallen HeroDetective Sergeant Frank W. Grunder, Jr.


Detective Sergeant Frank W. Grunder, Jr., who headed the Department’s Escape and Apprehension Unit, had spent several weeks attempting to track down elusive members of an elusive hold-up team. On August 1, 1974, after a day of patrolling locations in the city in an attempt to find the holdup suspects with no results, Sergeant Grunder went home after work. While off duty, Sergeant Grunder was driving on Harford Road in Hamilton with his wife and three children in the back seat. As he approached Echodale Avenue, he saw a man sitting crouched on the steps leading to the play lot at St. Dominic’s Roman Catholic Church. Weeks of waiting and watching had finally paid off; this was one of the suspects. He parked his car a safe distance from the church, called for a uniformed back up unit and waited. Officer Joe L. Shaw of the Northeastern District wasn’t assigned a backup unit but readily stopped when Sergeant Grunder waved him down. The 12-year-old veteran explained the situation to the uniformed officer as they approached the suspect, who was still sitting on the steps. Sergeant Grunder was a few feet ahead of Officer Shaw as he ordered the suspect to stand and place his hands on the wall. At this point, the suspect lurched to his feet and began running up the steps. As Sergeant Grunder reached the top step, the suspect wheeled and began firing point blank. The sergeant was able to fire three shots in return as he fell to the sidewalk, mortally wounded. Officer Shaw also returned fire. The suspect dropped. Detective Sergeant was transported to Union Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival. The assailant, a resident of the area, was pronounced dead on the scene. An investigation into the suspect’s past revealed a string of felony arrests dating back to 1960. Funeral services were held for the 34-year-old Sergeant on August 5th at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church.

More details

End of Watch 1 August, 1974
City, St. City, St.
Panel Number 23-E: 4
Cause of Death      Gunfire
Weapon - Handgun
District Worked     Criminal Investigation Division

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