END OF WATCH: September 26, 1919
Cleveland Police Department
On Thursday, September 24, 1919, while patrolling Cleveland’s downtown district just before midnight, Patrolman Frank Moranz encountered a suspicious male loitering in an alley near Prospect and Ontario Avenues.
As Patrolman Moranz approached to question the male, a second subject attacked him from behind. A struggle ensued at which time the male gained control of Moranz’s service revolver, shooting him 3 times. Patrolman Moranz was transported to Huron Road Hospital with gunshot wounds to the left lung, left side and in the back.
The hospital notified relatives of Officer Moranz’s wounds and the need for blood transfusions. Brother-in-law, John Bierman rushed to the hospital and gave blood to no avail, Officer Moranz died from his injuries Saturday, September 26, 1919.
Cleveland Police picked up and questioned 25 black males for the shooting. None of which could give an account of their whereabouts at the time of the shooting. Most of the suspects were released due to the lack of physical evidence. Police focused on four who had previous records and charged with shootings.
On July 5, 1929, suspect Frank Rodgers, was finally apprehended and charged with Patrolman Moranz’s death. During the investigation, a man’s stick pin was recovered at the crime scene in the alley. The fingerprints on the pin led police to Frank Rodgers.
Frank Rodgers was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment..
Frank Moranz’s name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C. panel 43, west wall, line 13.
By Recruit Noah Jones, Cleveland Police Academy