KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY BY GUNSHOT
End of Watch: March 30, 1928
A policeman lies near death in the Children’s Homeopathic Hospital today, after being shot down by an unidentified assailant near 15th and Huntingdon Streets. The victim, Officer Harry Feinberg, 30 years old, 2523 N. Spangler Street of the 26th and York Street station, has been unable to give a coherent statement regarding the circumstances leading up to the shooting, but police believe today he may have been a victim of gasoline thieves who were robbing the tanks of the P.R.T. bus station at 15th and Cumberland Street. It was fifteen minutes before midnight when two 19-year-old youths were about to step from the entrance of the Carlisle Club, on Carlisle Street between Cumberland and Huntingdon Streets, when two shots were heard. They were William Hess, 2437 N. Carlisle Street and William Nelson 2155 N. Camac Street both of who had been attending a dance on the second floor of the clubhouse.
Reaching the street, a moment later, they saw Officer Fineberg lying face down in the middle of the street. Blood was flowing from what appeared to be two wounds. Later, doctors said the policeman had been shot in the abdomen and the bullet passing out his back. “Not far away”, William later told detectives, “I saw this roadster going south on Carlisle Street.” There were two men in it at the time, and just then two more men leaped to the running board, one getting inside while the other remained where he stood. “I reached down for the policeman’s pistol and took careful aim at the automobile as I fired one shot. Then I heard someone groan “Oh, my neck”, and that’s the last we saw of the car as it disappeared in the darkness. The small group of spectators that had gathered by this time commandeered a passing automobile, and Officer Fineberg was rushed to the hospital. Doctors say there is only a slight chance for his recovery. When word was received at the station house it might be necessary to issue a call for volunteers for blood transfusion, every man on the night platoon offered to submit.
Linking together the bits of information gathered here and there, Martin Curran, of the Murder Squad, and several City Hall detectives are investigating the theory that Feinberg in turning the corner of 15th & Huntingdon Streets, saw two men tinkering with the locks of the gasoline tanks there. One supposition is that he called them to halt, but instead they ran toward the roadster parked in the middle of the block and with Fineberg but a few paces behind them, one of them turned and fired at close range, as the driver of the car started off with a roar.
Joseph Ward, 822 Windsor Square, a night employee of the transportation company, substantiated in part the statements of the other two witnesses. He said he heard the shots and ran to the street in time to see the automobile disappear but said he did not see Hess fire after the fugitives, although he saw him with the pistol in his hand. A few minutes later, Officer Hunnicker, another policeman, said he saw the same automobile as it rounded the corner of 15th and York Streets, but his suspicions were not aroused in any way by the conduct of the occupants.
Feinberg was single and lived with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Abe Feinberg. Two of his five brothers and sisters hastened to his bedside when informed of their brother’s condition, and it was only when Jules, a younger brother, leaned over his partly conscious form that he showed the first signs of recognition. Officer Feinberg was appointed to the Police Department three years ago. He previously served an enlistment in the U. S. Army.