KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY BY GUNSHOT
Appointed: October 6, 1897
End of Watch: November 28, 1910
Shot and mortally wounded by a man believed to be a burglar, with whom he had a terrific struggle in an alley at 41st and Pine Streets. Policeman, George Barnett, #2118, of the 33rd Street and Woodland Avenue station, expended his last strength in firing a bullet at his assailant, shooting him through the heart and killing him instantly. Three hours later Special Officer (detective) George Barnett died after giving account of the struggle.
The supposed burglar lies in the Morgue, unidentified. The police say his face is familiar to them but that they are unable to name him. For some time, burglars have been working in the vicinity of 42nd and Pine Streets, and Officer Barnett was assigned to special duty to watch for their appearance. At 41st and Pine Streets he lost sight of them, but he soon found them in an alley, talking together and holding their hands in their pockets. Approaching them, he asked them what they were doing there, at the same time grasping the arm of the man nearest to him who was apparently holding something in his pocket.
The man leaped at the blue coat, drew a revolver and fired it six times in quick succession directly against his body. Four of the shots grazed his coat and the other two entered his body afflicting mortal wounds in the abdomen. At the sound of the shots, the other man ran down the alley and disappeared. In spite of his wounds Barnett closed in upon the man, holding him tightly by the overcoat and attempting to draw his revolver. Seeing his revolver was empty, the man grasped the weapon by the barrel and began to beat Barnett’s face with the stock, inflicting horrible wound and covering the policeman’s face with blood. Barnett’s tenacity and heroism were marvelous. With the blood steaming from his abdomen and face and with pain racking his whole body, he still persisted in holding the prisoner. Coats of both were torn to shreds. They rolled over and over in the marrow alley, with blood and mud pouring over them. At length Barnett’s strength gave out. His grip on his prisoner relaxed as his wounds began to sap his vitality. With a final effort the alleged robber threw the policeman from him and leaped away. At the same moment Barnett, conscious that his prisoner was escaping, threw all of his energy into one effort; He drew his revolver, brushed the blood from his eyes, pointed it and the man who had not yet run away, took deliberate aim the heart and fired.
The bullet pierced the man’s breast and entered his heart. Then he, too, displayed a remarkable energy, which the physicians who examined his body are at a loss to explain. With the bullet in his heart, the man dashed down the alley toward 42nd street, running at top speed, finally falling dead the entrance just as those who had been attracted by the shots arrived.