Type of Officer: Park Police Officer
Death Date: 5/19/1921
Added to Memorial: 1997
Circumstances of Death: Gunshot
Andrew Hartwick, Ripley park (Topeka) police officer, was shot May 19, 1921. He was shot as he attempted to remove three Mexican youths from the park after discovering they were shooting birds. Manuel Lopez and Joaquin Padillo were arrested for the crime. Padillo reportedly had a grudge against Hartwick. He had flashed a gun at Hartwick a week prior when he arrested Padillo for killing fish in the Ripley pool. A coroner’s jury found Lopez as the killer and placed him on trial. Padillo claimed that he was at home at the time of the shooting and did not go to trial. Lopez admitted that he and two other youths were in the park and that they were shooting at birds but denied that he did the shooting and blamed it on another youth whose name he did not know. The only “white” witness to the shooting claimed that Lopez and Padillo were not the young “Mexican” who almost collided with her as she went through the park, soon after the shooting. Lopez was acquitted.