Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Detective Louis Shirley was shot and killed while patrolling the New York Central rail yards in downtown Elkhart.
He was shot in the back twice when he interrupted the burglary of railroad cars near the passenger terminal. Detective Shirley had voluntarily started his shift 30 minutes early but was shot only 23 minutes later.
Detective Shirley was transported to Elkhart General Hospital where he died.
A 24-year-old suspect was arrested, convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to the maximum two to 21 years in prison. The suspect was later sentenced to life in prison after a conviction of being a habitual offender.
Detective Shirley had received several citations for bravery while in the armed forces. He was single and survived by his widowed mother.
United States Army
The responsibilities of the New York Central Railroad Police Department (1853–1968) are now under the jurisdiction of the Norfolk Southern Railway Police Department.