END OF WATCH: February 21, 1948
Cleveland Heights Police Department
Patrolman Norman Reker and Patrolman Edward Myer were about to report off-duty when they received a burglar broadcast and responded to 2580 Colchester Road.
Mrs. Metta Burg, a resident in one-half of a duplex called police after hearing a man threatening her next door neighbors and demanding jewels and diamonds.
When the patrolmen arrived, the neighbor, Mrs. Burg met them on the front porch advising what was happening. The burglar, Barney Davis, had blasted the lock off the front door, entered, confronted the two women, and locked them in the bathroom.
Officer Reker pulled his gun and dashed inside with Officer Myer close behind. Just as Reker reached the second floor, Davis emerged from a bedroom, saw Reker, cursed, and fired a shot hitting Reker in the abdomen. Reker returned fire as he went down, firing six times at Davis, Patrolman Meyer shot three times. Davis fell and tossed his gun under a bed.
Officer Reker staggered to the first floor where he collapsed, he died sixteen minutes later while being transported to St. Luke’s Hospital.
Davis was taken to City Hospital’s prison ward, wounded in the abdomen, shoulder, jaw and leg and believed to be dying. Examination showed one of Reker’s bullets hit Davis, and all three of Myer’s.
Police believed Barney Davis entered the house as revenge over his sister’s dismissal for incompetence. Police arrested Miss Davis (sister), her boyfriend and a man believed to have driven a car away after the shooting.
Officer Reker was single and lived with his widowed mother, Mrs. Ella Reker and a brother, Louis. (Material for this article was taken from the Plain Dealer, Cleveland Press, and police reports)
Norman Reker’s name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C. panel 51, west wall, line 16.
By Norm Drew, Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Society