Type of Officer: Police Detective
Jurisdiction: Kansas City
Death Date: 5/13/1889
Added to Memorial: 1997
Circumstances of Death: Stabbing
Officer Gilley was attending a preliminary hearing for two suspects he had arrested earlier for burglary. While sitting in the courtroom waiting for the hearing procedures to begin, one of the suspects James Smith who was seated on a bench immediately in the rear and behind the officer, stood up and plunged a knife into the back of Gilley’s neck. During the ensuing struggle the suspect was shot several times and later died of his injuries. The detective suffered extensive injuries dying two days later on May 13th. Gilley was the first Kansas City Police Detective. There is some evidence that the killing of Gilley was related to his breaking up of a gang called the “Dirty Dozen”. Smith was a member of that gang.