Officer Fred R. Unger
Officer Fred R. Unger
CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO
On this day in Baltimore Police History 13 January 1947, we lost our brother Police Officer Fred R. Unger to gunfire based on the following:
January 13th 1947 was much like it has been here lately; the high was 37.9F with a low in the area of 27F there was a heavy fog with rain, and drizzle throughout the week almost as it has been this year 2014. Crime back then was normal Baltimore crime; they had their burglars, their drug dealers, their thieves and their stick up men. On this particular day there was a punk by the name of Milford E. Davis. Milford found his niche in the crime world sticking up cab drivers and taking their hard earned cash, on this night he had committed one such hold up already from a cab driver on the corner of Saratoga St. near Gay St. After that stick-up, he made his way up to, and over to, the Central District. He was nearing the 900 Blk. of Brevard Alley where he was on the hunt for another cab to hit. By now his description was given to all police in the area, and two of Central’s long time partners, Officer George Pfaff, and Fred Unger were on a different hunt, instead of looking for someone to steal from, they were on the lookout for someone about to rob a cab, and it wouldn’t take long for Fred to spot a potential suspect, a fellow matching the description given out earlier, pointing the suspect out to his partner, Officer Unger would call out to the suspect asking him, “Hey! Hey, you there! What are you running from?” and the suspect looking over points to his chest as if to ask if they were talking to him, Unger confirms they were, and asked him to come to their vehicle, out of breath the suspect couldn’t say much, but remained calm throughout their interaction, he strolled over to their car, calm and collected as he was catching his breath… he acted as if he had nothing to hide, not a worry in the world, his calmness took the officers off their normal guard. They thought perhaps this is not the right guy; still they would talk to him, as he may have seen something, he may have some information to lead them in the right direction.
The suspect continued walking calmly to their car, eventually he would be alongside the car, as he was coming in from a direction in front of their car he would pass the officers, (still seated in their car), then turn and come up behind the officer from a different angle, before a single question could be asked of him, his attitude would change, he went from calm, cool, and collected, into rage, drawing his .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol from his waist band, he would fire several shots into the car, striking Officer Unger several times.
Officer Pfaff quickly bailed from the car, taking a safe vantage point while drawing his weapon, then as he came up to find his target, he saw the suspect was running away, Pfaff chased the suspect past the east side of the Armory into an alley beside a warehouse near Dolphin St. Then he was gone, Pfaff lost the visual he had on the suspect when they were someplace near Dolphin Street and Linden Green. He was being fired on by Davis and had a chance to take a shot back, but looked toward the background and saw the suspect was running toward a group of people, he feared had he missed it could have led to one or more of them being shot. So he did the next best thing, he armed himself with a description and went back to his vehicle to check on his partner, and call in that description so the other officers in the area could look for him.
Once back to his car he found his partner, Officer Frederick R. Unger had been struck in the head, the face, and several times in his upper body… Pfaff somewhat in shock quickly called for medical attention, then giving the description of the suspect, with warnings of his danger and a direction of travel. Now armed with a clothing description that direction of travel, it wouldn’t be long when another set of Central District best known partners, Officers Joseph Levin, and John Griffin were on his trail. They were at the corner Morris Alley and Dolphin Street, when they met with the same gunman and the same weapon that fatally wounded their friend and brother patrolman Unger. Officers Levin and Griffin were ready for what might be coming, they called out to the suspect, who did what he knew best, he spun, drew and fired on the officers; who in turn did what they knew, they shot him. They recovered the gun he used to kill Officer Unger, as well as the money stolen in the earlier cab robbery.
Officer Unger died that night trying to make Baltimore a safer place, for all of us. Officer’s Levin, and Griffin fired their guns and killed a man, they did this while bullets were being fired in their direction and from the gun of a guy that didn’t care who he hurt, he didn’t care about his backdrop, which brings us to Officer Pfaff who refused to shoot at a fleeing felon, while he himself was being fired on, so that he wouldn’t accidently shoot someone in the background, he put public safety ahead of his own safety. These are the brave men of the Baltimore Police department.
Officer Unger was married and the father of 2 daughters, Carol (eight) and Gail Patricia (eighteen months). Officer Fred R. Unger was 38 years of age and a 3 year veteran of the force.
We his brothers and sisters of the Baltimore Police department will not let him be forgotten, as we take this time to remember him and thank him for his service and sacrifice.
|End of Watch||13 January, 1947|
|City, St.||900 Blk. of Brevard Alley|
|Panel Number||34-E: 11|
|Cause of Death||Gunfire|
Copies of: Your Baltimore Police Department Class Photo, Pictures of our Officers, Vehicles, Equipment, Newspaper Articles relating to our department and or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and or Brochures. Information on Deceased Officers and anything that may help Preserve the History and Proud Traditions of this agency. Please contact Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll.
How to Dispose of Old Police Items
Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department.
Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at
Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll