John Preston DeRossette
Indianapolis Police Department
Tuesday, January 30, 1917

Age: 42
Served: 6 years, 9 months
Badge #: 258
Panel 51W, Line 5
Panel L10, Line 4

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Date/Time of Incident:
Wednesday, January 24, 1917
04:15 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
6 days
Incident Location:
Brightwood Street and Roosevelt Avenue, Indianapolis
Incident County:
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
Suspect Disposition:
• Sentenced to life
• Sentenced to 5 to 14 years
Burial Place:
Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis

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   Officer John DeRossette, a mounted policeman, was shot while investigating recent grocery store robberies.

   As he approached two suspects near a barber shop on Brightwood Street near Roosevelt Avenue, one man drew a revolver and fired before they fled the scene.

   The shot entered Officer DeRossette's back and lodged in his abdomen. He was transported to City Hospital and died from the injuries he suffered six days later.

   Both suspects were subsequently apprehended and identified by Officer DeRossette.

   The 19-year-old shooter was convicted of murder in a change of venue to Shelby County and sentenced to life in prison.

   His 21-year-old accomplice was charged with robbery and later sentenced to five to 14 years in prison.

   Officer DeRossette, a member of the mounted unit, was survived by his wife, sister, four brothers and his equine partner, Cola. Two of his brothers also served as officers with the department.


The responsibilities of the Indianapolis Police Department (1854–2006) are now under the jurisdiction of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

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