End of Watch: December 23, 1926

Officer Joseph Bell, 31 years old, was shot by a man near 21st and Lombard Street died in the Polyclinic Hospital after two week of fight death. While his five children prayed that the he might return to them for Christmas. Bell died after an emergency operation that followed transfusions of blood given by his Commanding Officer Captain John Freeman of the 12th and Pine station. Doctors knew the operation was the last faint hope and when they discerned peritonitis soon after he was taken back to his cot they called his wife Catherine and his brother and sisters.

They remained until death came. The children led by Alice eleven, the oldest knelt in prayer at their home. The policeman died in the cot from which he identified Edward Lockett, of Maudain Street, near 19th, as the man who shot without warning at an early hour December 11, 1926 when Bell attempted to arrest Lockett for ringing doorbells along Lombard street. Bell started to question him his answers were unsatisfactory and Bell was about to arrest him when the man drew a pistol in the darkness, placed it against Bell’s abdomen, and fired and disappeared. The policeman was taken to the hospital where doctors found he had been wounded with a dumdum bullet that tore a big hole in his abdomen.