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Dying in the line of duty: Stories of St. Louis police officers

Dying in the line of duty: Stories of St. Louis police officers

Shot and stabbed, run over and run down, electrocuted and thrown from horses. 

It was in 1861 that the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officially formed, and two years later saw its first officer die in the line of duty. The number has grown to more than 150 men killed. And it's been all men - no women officers in the department's history have been killed in the line of duty. 

By far, the 1920s were the deadliest decade with 45 police officers killed. By contrast, the 1940s saw the deaths of five officers.

One officer died 22 years after being paralyzed while responding to a burglary; another died 21 years after a gunshot wound that doctors said contributed to the pancreatic cancer that killed him. 

Four deaths listed by the St. Louis Police Department were not included. An officer suffered a heart attack after taking the annual physical fitness test in 2007; an officer shot himself to death in 1924; in 1914, an off-duty officer died in a motorcycle crash in which he was riding with his 8-year-old son; and in 1900 an officer died either by suicide or an accident involving a gun.

Here are the stories, pulled from our archives and with help from the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Amanda St. Amand is the digital editor for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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