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June 26, 2013

Killed in the Line of Duty 100 Years Ago Today


Posted: June 25, 2013 — 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, while pursuing a suspect.

The 39-year-old officer 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 the officer and fled. Griffiths pursued the suspect behind a building at 224 S. 200 W., where the suspect shot him three times.

The suspect managed to elude officers until the following day when his hiding place was reported by a citizen. The suspect, who was shot and wounded during the arrest, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to prison.

When the Utah Supreme Court ordered a new trial, the suspect pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison. However, in 1919, he escaped from a Spanish Fork Canyon work camp and was never recaptured.

Married and the father of six children, Officer Griffiths is buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

Visit  to learn more about SLCPD’s Fallen Officers and the memorial plaque program. To contact the Salt Lake City Police History Project, send email to or call (801) 799-3340.