Connecticut Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation

James J. Butler

Police Detective


End of Watch: 4/18/1954

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Detective Butler and his partner were investigating a report of stolen turkeys when the suspect fired four shots, hitting both detectives. Detective Butler saw him preparing to shoot his partner again; he fired his own pistol and instantly killed the assailant. Detective Butler died three months later as a result of his injuries.

On Sunday, January 16, 1950, Greenwich Police Detective James Butler and his partner, Detective Thomas Burke, responded to an address in the back-country of town on the report of two stolen turkeys. Shortly after beginning their investigation, the suspect in the case brandished a seven-shot .22 caliber pistol. He fired four shots, one hitting Detective Burke in the side, grazing his stomach, and two penetrating Detective Butler’s stomach and intestines. As Detective Butler lay on the ground, he saw the assailant turning the gun back towards Detective Burke, preparing to fire again. Detective Butler drew his .38 pistol, getting off one shot at the assailant, which struck him in the neck and head, and killed him instantly. Detective Butler died on April 18, 1954 as a direct result of the injuries he sustained during this incident.