Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Detective Benjamin Thornton had been investigating bicycle thieves with his partner in the weeks prior to his death when he developed a cold that did not resolve on its own.
During this investigation, they learned the suspect wanted for killing Patrolman John Shipp, 57, of the Cleveland Division of Police in Ohio, on May 6 was visiting a home in the city and began surveillance on it for two nights during a torrential rainstorm.
Despite being ill, Detective Thornton wanted to participate in apprehending the suspect on June 2 but was ordered to go home by the chief of detectives.
Detective Thornton, who had asthma for at least 20 years, was confined to his home until his death from pneumonia over two weeks later.
The 30-year-old suspect was arrested by other officers and extradited to Ohio where he was later convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. On June 28, 1901, he was executed by electrocution at the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus.
Detective Thornton was survived by his wife and 12-year-old daughter.
Patrolman John Shipp
The responsibilities of the Indianapolis Police Department (1854–2006) are now under the jurisdiction of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
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