Memorial to William J. Weston

End of Watch: March 4, 1945
Rank: Officer, Badge No. N/A
Age: 27
Years of Service: 2 years, 5 months
Location of Death: 1418 Florida Avenue, NE

 

Circumstance:

Officer Weston walked into the Little Iron Horse Grill and found Mr. Oates inside and intoxicated. Officer Weston escorted Mr. Oates outside to the sidewalk and told him to move on. As Officer Weston turned to walk away, Mr. Oates shot him twice in the back, killing him.

As Officer Weston lay dying, a Special Police Officer happened onto the scene, gave chase to the suspect, shooting him once, killing him.

Biography:

N/A

Articles from the Washington Post – transcribed by Dave Richardson, MPD/Ret.
THE SHOOTING DEATH OF OFFICER WILLIAM J. WESTON ON MARCH 4, 1945. ALSO, AN EARLIER INCIDENT INVOLVING AN ASSAULT ON THE OFFICER.

PARTIAL WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED FEBRUARY 7, 1944, PAGE 1

Policeman and Taxi Driver
James Floyd Weaver, 29, of Cheverly, Md., alleged to be driving a taxicab while intoxicated, was arrested by Policeman William J. Weston, Ninth Precinct, at Montello Ave. and Oates Street, NE, early yesterday. Police said Weaver tried to strike Weston with a bottle, and grabbed the steering wheel, causing the car to go out of Weston’s control and strike a tree.

Weaver was thrown into the windshield by the impact and was taken to Casualty Hospital suffering from cuts and bruises. Later he was taken to Gallinger Hospital’s psychopathic ward. Policeman Weston was cut on the hand.

Weaver later was charged with driving while drunk and assaulting an officer.

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WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED MARCH 5, 1945, PAGE 1

Policeman’s Killer Is Slain After Chase Through Crowds
Lester Oates, yesterday afternoon killed a Metropolitan policeman who prevented him from getting another beer and was in turn slain by another policeman after a wild gun-wielding dash down a crowded Northeast Florida Avenue sidewalk.

The slain policeman was Pvt. William J. Weston, 38, 1110-A 6th Street, NE who was shot twice in the back. His avenger was identified by police as Pvt. Rufus Ragland, 47, a special officer at Gallinger Hospital, who killed Oates with a single shot at Florida Ave. and Holbrook Street, NE.

Detective Sergt. Walter Perry of the homicide squad said Oates was in the Little Iron Horse Grill, 1418 Florida Avenue, NE when Weston entered. Believing Oates intoxicated, Weston ordered that he be served no more drinks and suggested that Oates leave.

Oates and the officer walked out at the same time, Perry said, and started off in different directions. Oates, however, took only a few steps, then whirled and pumped four shots at the policeman, two of which struck him in the back.

Ragland, in uniform in a nearby restaurant, rushed to Weston, slumped against a wall. He started in pursuit of Oates after Weston gasped: “Catch that man, he’s killed me.”

Ragland caught up with Oates at the next corner, but Oates refused to stop. Ragland dropped him with a shot, Perry said.
Police temporarily held Ragland under technical arrest at No. 9 Precinct pending conclusion of the investigation.