Howard C. Wagner
South Bend Police Department
Saturday, June 30, 1934

Age: 29
Badge #: 48
Panel 51W, Line 6
Panel L23, Line 1

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Date/Time of Incident:
Saturday, June 30, 1934
11:30 am
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
229 South Michigan Street, South Bend
Incident County:
St. Joseph
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
Thompson submachine gun
Suspect Disposition:
• Killed by police
• Killed by police
• Killed by police
Burial Place:
City Cemetery, South Bend

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   Patrolman Howard Wagner was shot and killed as suspects were fleeing the armed robbery of the Merchants National Bank.

   The robbery was being committed by four members of the Dillinger Gang. While he was directing traffic at Wayne and Michigan streets, Patrolman Wagner heard gunshots in the vicinity of the bank and went to investigate.

   As he approached, three men exited the bank they had just robbed of $29,890. The lookout, allegedly Homer Van Meter, shot Patrolman Wagner as the suspects fled the scene in what was the last bank robbery committed by the Dillinger Gang.

   Patrolman Wagner was transported to Epworth Hospital where he died.

   Their getaway car was found abandoned later that day near Goodland.

   Homer Van Meter, 28, was shot and killed by police in St. Paul, Minnesota on August 23, 1934 and John Dillinger, 31, was killed by FBI agents in Chicago on July 22, 1934.

   Lester Gillis, 25, better known as 'Baby Face' Nelson, was shot and killed in the Battle of Barrington by FBI agents in Barrington, Illinois on November 27, 1934. The gunbattle resulted in FBI Special Agent Herman E. Hollis, 31, being shot and killed and Inspector Samuel P. Cowley, 35, who was shot and died the following day.

   Patrolman Wagner was survived by his parents, four sisters and three brothers.

Historical Notes

• The Dillinger Gang were involved in the line of duty deaths of five Indiana officers:
Indiana State Trooper Eugene Orville Teague – December 20, 1933
East Chicago Patrolman William Patrick O'Malley – January 15, 1934
East Chicago Patrolman Francis Lloyd Mulvihill – May 24, 1934
East Chicago Patrolman Martin J. O'Brien – May 24, 1934

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