Memorial to John Francis McAuliffe

End of Watch: January 21, 1929
Rank: Officer, Badge No. N/A
Years of Service: 1 year
Age: 21
Location of Death:  1213 34th Street, NW

 

Circumstance:

On January 19, 1929, Officer McAuliffe responded to a Georgetown residence for a family dispute. Upon his arrival, the intoxicated suspect, Samuel “Shorty” Jenkins, fired four rounds from a .45 caliber automatic out of the window, striking Officer McAuliffe once in the left chest area.  Officer McAuliffe was taken to Georgetown Hospital where he died two days later. He was buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery.

Biography

Officer McAuliffe had served one year with the Metropolitan Police Department. He lived with his parents in Friendship Heights, Md. He was also is survived by two sisters, Mary and Eleanor, and three brothers, James, Thomas, and Stephen.

 

Articles from the Washington Post – transcribed by Dave Richardson, MPD/Ret.
THE SHOOTING DEATH OF OFFICER JOHN F. MCAULIFFE ON JANUARY 21, 1929, AND THE OFFICERS DEATHBED WISH THAT SAVED HIS KILLER FROM THE ELECTRIC CHAIR.
WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED JANUARY 20, 1929, PAGE M1
Intestines of Patrolman Are Pierced and Bullet Severs Artery.

SURGEONS DECLARE HIS CHANCES SLIGHT.
Assailant, Wounded Over Heart, Found Sitting in Georgetown Home.

2 QUARTS OF LIQUOR DISCOVERED IN HOUSE
Police Report Double Shooting Followed Quarrel by Man and Wife.

Policeman John Francis McAuliffe, of the Seventh Precinct, and Samuel “Shorty” Jenkins, of 1213 34th Street, NW, were fighting for life last night in Georgetown Hospital as a result of Jenkins’ efforts to kill the policeman and slay himself.

McAuliffe was shot down near dusk as he walked along the sidewalk two doors from Jenkins’ home. Jenkins fired from the first floor window, then fled upstairs to his room, where he sent a bullet into his body.

The policeman was shot while seeking to locate the house in which a disturbance had been reported. Jenkins, according to reports, had a quarrel with his wife and was cursing and talking at the top of his voice.

Artery Cut By Bullet.
McAuliffe was shot in the right side while facing his assailant, the bullet emerging from his back on the right side. The bullet was found in the fabric of his uniform when hospital attendants cut his clothing from him after placing him on the operating table. Surgeons operated after first resorting to a blood transfusion. They found six punctures in the small intestines, one in the large intestine, and a severed artery. The described McAuliffe’s chance to live as slim.

Jenkins shot himself through the body, the 45 caliber bullet entering just above the heart and coming out in the back. His condition is also serious, but surgeons said he had better than even chance to live.

Jenkins admitted shooting himself, but denied having shot McAuliffe, police said. Witnesses, however, told police McAuliffe was felled by a shot fired from the Jenkins home. Four shots were fired at the policeman, witnesses said, and two after he had fallen.

Police Reserves Called.
Policeman H.K. Davis, also of Seventh Precinct, was standing at Thirty-Fourth Street and Prospect Avenue and heard the pistol reports. He turned in a report and reserves were immediately ordered. Third Precinct sent all available men, Seventh Precinct sent a patrol with a driver and a guard, while headquarters sent all the night detail detectives, armed with riot guns and tear gas bombs.

The Seventh Precinct detail, consisting of Policeman J.T. Nash, and Driver J.L. Prinkert, was the first to arrive. After questioning several persons, Nash located the house from which the shots were fired. He approached it and saw Jenkins in an upstairs window. Nash called to him and Jenkins responded with curses.

Shooter Defies Police.

“Come on in,” Jenkins cried, defiantly.

“Come on down and let me in,” Nash responded.

“No, I’ve shot myself and can’t come down, come in by yourself,” Jenkins replied.

Whereupon Nash smashed a front window—overlooking the one shattered in the shooting—and climbed in. He found the house in darkness, but he found the stairway and, undaunted by the possibility that he might suffer fate similar to McAuliffe, he mounted the stairs and entered the front room. He found Jenkins sitting on a couch at the window, one hand clasped over a bloody spot on his shirt front, the other holding an automatic pistol.

About this time the reserves from the Third Precinct and headquarters arrived and Jenkins was placed in a patrol and rushed to Georgetown Hospital.

Police then made a search of the house. They found William, Jenkins 14 year old son, cowering on the first floor. They also discovered two quarts of alleged whiskey.

John R. Wall, of 2914 M Street, NW, who was visiting at 1217 34th Street, told police he heard the first shot and rushed to the door, just in time to see McAuliffe, who was directly in front of it, turn around to see from whence the shot had come. Wall said he grabbed McAuliffe by the arm and was trying to pull him within the shelter of the doorway when another shot rang out and McAuliffe crumpled up. A moment later a taxicab driven by G.F. Mulligan, of 1213 37th Street, NW, drove by and Wall hailed it.

Taken in Taxi to Hospital.
He and the taxicab driver were trying to lift McAuliffe into the cab when there was another shot, Wall said. He stated this fourth shot chipped a brick in the house at 1217. Despite this interruption, Wall and Mulligan placed McAuliffe in the cab and raced to the hospital.

A man whose name the police did not know said the shooting of McAuliffe was a direct result of a quarrel between Jenkins and his wife, Mrs. Augusta Jenkins. At the height of the quarrel Mrs. Jenkins and their 12 year old daughter, Doris, left the house.

Incensed at Wife Leaving
This incensed Jenkins, the man stated, and he began to curse and shout. McAuliffe, who was on the corner near the Jenkins home, heard the disturbance and walked along the sidewalk seeking to locate the house. He had just passed Jenkins home when the first shot was fired. McAuliffe ducked and half turned when the second shot felled him. The other two shots were fired, the man said, all from a downstairs window in Jenkins house.

McAuliffe and Jenkins were both given emergency treatment by Dr. Edward Greco, of the Georgetown staff.

Policemen Offer Blood.
Shortly afterward Dr. William D. Marbury and Dr. Daniel J. Borden, police surgeons, reached the hospital. They immediately took charge of McAuliffe and called for volunteers to give blood for a transfusion. Several Seventh Precinct policemen were at the hospital and volunteered. Policeman Harry M. Britten was the first chosen. He gave a pint and a half of blood. After the transfusion McAuliffe rallied and Dr. Marbury and Borden operated.

They announced additional transfusions would be made during the night. They held Policeman Paul W. Proctor and Frank E. Stroman at the hospital for emergency transfusion.

No charges had been made against Jenkins last night, but the police were keeping him under surveillance. Policemen from the Seventh Precinct were stationed in his room to prevent any effort to escape or to harm himself further.

Coincidence in Number.

McAuliffe’s number is 1208 and the number of Mulligan, the taxicab operator who drove him to the hospital, also is 1208. Mulligan lives at 1213 Thirty-seventh and the Jenkins home is at 1213 Thirty-fourth.

 

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED JANUARY 22, 1929, PAGE 22.
POLICEMAN DIES FORGIVING SLAYER.
McAuliffe, Shot by Jenkins, Passes Away Holding Mother’s Hand in Hospital.
ASKS NO PROSECUTION
His last words those of forgiveness for the drunk crazed man who fatally shot him Saturday night, John Francis McAuliffe, 23 year old policeman of the Seventh Precinct, died yesterday morning in Georgetown Hospital, with a smile on his face, and his limp hands clasped tenderly in those of his mother beside him, prostrated with grief.

In a nearby room, Samuel Jenkins, of 1213 34th Street, NW, lies dangerously ill, from a self-inflicted bullet wound over his heart. A police watch is maintained at the bedside of the remorseful Jenkins, charged with the murder of McAuliffe. He is expected to recover.

Mrs. Mary McAuliffe, mother of the youthful policeman, hurried to the bedside of her son yesterday morning when notified by physicians that he had but a short time to live.

A few moments before he died, McAuliffe turned his blanched face toward his mother, sitting at his bedside and gasped weakly: “He shot me mother, and then shot himself. But he didn’t know what he was doing. They mustn’t prosecute him. Promise me that you won’t let them.”

McAuliffe, a faint smile on his face, died as his mother vowed to keep the promise.

Fellow officers understand why McAuliffe felt kindly toward Jenkins. They said yesterday he always was that way. .They never knew him to hold a grudge since he came on the force a little over a year ago.

Jenkins has not been informed of McAuliffe’s death. Police fear he will attempt to kill himself if he learns of it.

McAuliffe, who lived with his parents in Friendship Heights, Md., also is survived by two sisters, Mary and Eleanor, and three brothers, James, Thomas, and Stephen. Funeral arrangements have not been completed.

Physicians said yesterday Jenkins would recover unless pneumonia set in. He is the father of two children, Doris, 12, and Wilton, 15 years old. Jenkins shot McAuliffe while standing at a parlor window when the policeman went to the home to investigate reports of a disturbance. Jenkins went to a second floor bedroom and shot himself after fatally wounding the policeman.

 

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED JUNE 1, 1929, PAGE 1
POLICEMAN’S DYING WISH SAVES SLAYER
Man Who Shot McAuliffe Is Allowed to Plead Guilty in Second Degree.
ELECTRIC CHAIR AVOIDED

Samuel (Shorty) Jenkins, 43 years old, pleaded guilty to a charge of second degree murder of Policeman John F. McAuliffe, 24 years old, before Chief Judge Walter I. McCoy late yesterday in the District Supreme Court.

Jenkins was indicted on a first degree murder charge, conviction of which carries the mandatory death sentence. The penalty of second degree murder runs from 20 years to life imprisonment.

The dying wish of McAuliffe was realized when Jenkins was allowed to plead to the lesser murder charge. A few hours before the policeman died at Georgetown University Hospital he said to his mother: “He shot me and then shot himself. He didn’t know what he was doing. They must not prosecute him. Promise me you won’t let them do it.”

In a drunken fit, Jenkins fired at McAuliffe through the first-floor window of his home at 1213 34th, NW on the night of January 19. The policeman was on his way to investigate a disturbance in the Jenkins home when a hail of bullets came through the window. After fatally wounding the policeman, Jenkins turned the gun on himself. As they lay side by side in the hospital a few hours later, the policeman turned to Jenkins and forgave him for his act. McAuliffe died two days later.