KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY FROM GUNSHOT
End of Watch: May 4, 1926
Policeman Harry M. Cooper, from 4606 Rising Sun Avenue, had recently been transferred to duty at the Front and Westmorland Streets Station. Cooper was killed several minutes after he had kissed his wife and son good bye and departed for the circus, to which he had been assigned for special duty.
The fatal shooting took place near the branch officer of the bank at the northeast corner of the intersection which the messenger, William Miller, 60, had been sent from the main office, at Fifth Street and Tabor Road, with the money.
The bandits arrested after the running gun fight with police are Harry Bently, who was shot in the leg, also sought in connection with the killing of Holt from an earlier holdup: Joe Curry, also known as O’Brien, a member of the notorious “Eggers’ Gang” on the Pacific Coast: Dous and William Juliano all have long police records. Curry and Julians assumed an attitude of bravado, although they were hatless and bore unmistakable evidence in the form of bandaged heads of the punishment meted out to them by the policemen who captured them. They resisted arrest viciously and the treatment they received was necessitated. Officer Booth captured Curry after chasing him through a house near he displayed a long barreled .38 calibre pistol. “Well, he had no right to get in the way of it”: Curry, according to Booth, replied. According to witness’s Cooper was not given a chance for his life, Curry drew a gun and fired point blank at the policeman before Cooper realized that he had approach him.
A bullet from the pistol of policeman Pizzo brought the machine to a lurching stop. Officer Pizzo rushed to the driver’s side of the car and all five men in the car go out and ran, opening fire on the bluecoat as he closed in upon them. They dropped the satchel containing over $80,000 at Mascher Street and Wyoming Avenue bank. Pizzo spied the boy and ordered him to pick it up and take it back to the bank. The bandits then commandeered a milk wagon the continued their escape. Officer Cooper a block from the home heard the roar of shots as Pizzo who emptied the contents of this pistol for the second time, Cooper drew his own weapon from his belt and rushed to the spot from which the reports were coming. A man jumped out of the wagon and ran into a house, Cooper continued firing at the remaining occupants apparently in the belief that Curry was not one of the bandits, but the driver, who had probably been ordered to leap from the vehicle. It was this man who had jumped from the wagon. It was this man who aimed his pistol at Cooper from close range and fired two shots at the policeman point-blank. The second shot hit Cooper and he collapsed. He was rushed to Samaritan Hospital in a passing motorcar. Physicians there said he had been killed instantly.
Officer Cooper leaves a wife and five children. “I’m sure I don’t know what we’re going to do now,” Mrs. Cooper murmurs. I haven’t much time to think of that yet. But we’ll see it through somehow. The girls will help me of course they’ll have to give up school as soon as they can and go to work. Their father and I always intended them to go through high school but I suppose that will be impossible now. The girls accepted this without a word, I’ve never been dependent on my family, and I won’t be now, if I can help it, said Mrs. Cooper. The banks and the city helped provide for the family in the years that followed.