Patrolman
Delbert Samuel Thompson
South Bend Police Department
Saturday, May 27, 1933

Age: 43
Served: 6 years
Badge #:
Panel 52W, Line 12
Panel L21, Line 7

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Gunfire
Date/Time of Incident:
Friday, May 26, 1933
11:55 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
1 day
Incident Location:
Michigan and South streets, South Bend
Incident County:
St. Joseph
Incident Township:
Portage
Weapon Used:
Gun (unknown type)
Suspect Disposition:
• Shot and killed
• Apprehended
Burial Place:
Cedar Grove Cemetery, Notre Dame

   Patrolman Delbert Thompson was shot and killed while questioning two auto thieves.

   As he walked away from a call box at Sample and Michigan streets, he observed two men in a car stolen from Ohio traveling northbound. Patrolman Thompson hailed a private vehicle and while standing on the running board, ordered the vehicle to stop.

   After the passenger was searched, the driver grabbed the officer's weapon, then pulled his own gun and fired five times, striking Patrolman Thompson who died moments later.

   The 24-year-old passenger was held by another citizen until officers arrived and took him into custody. The 35-year-old driver fled the scene on foot, but was observed hitchhiking about 20 minutes later.

   As Patrolman Charles Farkas exited the squad car, the man opened fire and killed him. His partner, who was wounded in the exchange, returned fire and killed the suspect.

   The offender was wanted for an $80,000 robbery of a Cincinnati bank as well as bank robberies in Hicksville, Ohio, two in South Bend and another in Syracuse, Indiana.

   Patrolman Thompson was survived by his wife, son, two daughters, mother, brother and four sisters.

Military Service


United States Army
World War I

Historical Note

• This incident was one of 23 which resulted in the line of duty deaths of two officers.

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Patrolman Delbert Samuel Thompson - South Bend Police Department - INLEM.org