END OF WATCH: September 5, 1894
Cleveland Police Department
September 5, 1894, at 3:00 am, Sergeant Sheehan and Patrolman Ralph were on patrol on a part of Clark Avenue known as “Cuba,” a Bohemian settlement between the Big Four tracks and Burton Street. Hearing a call for police on Clark Avenue, the officers rushed in that direction.
Officers pursued 2 men on Train Street but lost them in the darkness. The two officers separated with Sheenan taking Gordon Avenue. Moments later, several shots were heard and responding officers found Sheehan lying face down in the street with his gun in hand. Sheehan was shot just above the navel and died almost instantly.
Patrolmen Emil and Carroll immediately notified Captain English of the Detroit Street Station and officers of the Swiss Street Station. Captain English and a squad from the tenth precinct searched for the murderers.
It was later learned the burglars had blown the safe at the Ohio Provision Company on Clark Avenue and tried to enter Schillings Candy Store at 1189 Clark Avenue. It was Mrs. Schilling’s call for police that Sheehan was answering that night.
During the next several days, six people were arrested and several clues were turned up including a bloody revolver found in one of the suspect’s homes and a burglar’s tool kit found near Sheehan’s body.
After an intense investigation and coroner’s hearing, none of the suspects was charged with the crime, although two were turned over to the U.S. Marshal and charged with counterfeiting.
Sergeant Sheehan, known by almost everyone on Cleveland’s southwest side and enjoyed a very gratifying career. He was volatile and known as a man who would fight at the drop of a hat.
The funeral procession was led by Captain English and twenty patrolmen. Members of the Great Western Band, the Knights of St. John, the Catholic Mutual Benevolent Association, city officials and over 60 carriages of mourners included.
The funeral Mass was held at St. Patrick’s Church and Nicholas Sheehan was laid to rest at St. John’s Cemetery.
Sergeant Nicholas Sheehan was survived by a wife, two sons and two daughters. He was the 3rd of the 99 Cleveland Police Officers to die in the line of duty.
Nicholas Sheehan’s name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C. panel 38, West Wall, line 14.
By P.O. Thomas E. Armelli, Cleveland Police Department