SALT LAKE CITY—The Salt Lake City Police Department today remembers the loss of one its own: Officer Thomas F. Griffiths, killed in the line of duty June 25, 1913.
The 39-year-old victim was summoned to a bar at approximately 250 West 200 South by the victim of a razor attack. Officer Griffiths arrested the suspect. While being led to a nearby call box, the suspect broke away from Officer Griffiths and fled.
Officer Griffiths pursued the suspect behind a business where the suspect shot him three times. The suspect managed to elude officers until the following day, when a citizen reported his hiding place.
The suspect was shot and wounded during his arrest. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to prison.
However, when the Utah Supreme Court ordered a new trial, the suspect pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. In 1919, he escaped from a Spanish Fork Canyon work camp. He was never recaptured.
Married and the father of six children, Officer Griffiths is buried in Salt Lake City Cemetery.
The SLCPD History Project seeks information, photographs and memorabilia related to fallen officers and department history. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (801) 799-3340.
The Police Department wishes to thank the Utah Law Enforcement Memorial for its assistance in this remembrance.