Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Patrolman James Wittchen was shot and killed while investigating a report of a burglary in progress.
A fellow officer observed lights on in a home across the street from his whom he thought the residents were on vacation.
When two officers in plainclothes responded, the fellow officer mistook Patrolman Wittchen for an armed burglar in the darkness and accidentally shot him in the chest. He died 3½ hours later at a local hospital.
Patrolman Wittchen was survived by his wife.