April 1st, 2014 by milwaukeepolice
APPOINTED: April 26, 1924
DECEASED: February 8, 1933
Patrolman Richard Zingler died February 8, 1933, 26 hours after being shot. Patrolman Zingler was shot by one of three men as they held up the superintendent of an apartment building near N. 38th Street and W. Vilet Street. The men believed the superintendent would be carrying collected rent money.
Milwaukee was in the midst of a cold snap after a record snowfall. Patrolman Zingler, who knew the superintendent was likely stoking the coal furnace, stopped for a chat and to warm himself as he often did.
The three suspects had bound and gagged the superintendent just as Patrolman Zingler made his entrance. Seconds later a shot rang out striking Patrolman Zingler in the chest. He pulled his revolver out and fired as a man ran past him up the stairs and out the door.
Patrolman Zingler made his way outside and was still standing with the revolver dangling from his hand when those who heard the shots came to see what the commotion was. Patrolman Zingler handed his call box key to a man and told him to ring headquarters.
At the hospital, surgeons operated on Patrolman Zingler in an attempt to find and remove the .38 caliber bullet that pierced him just below the heart, but there was little hope from the outset for his recovery. He was conscious until the hour of his death, just after 1 a.m., Wednesday. His wife and sister were at his bedside.
Three days later, after being grilled by police for 48 hours, three young men aged 20, 21 and 22 confessed to the crime. The 21-year-old admitted to firing the shot ten seconds after Patrolman Zingler started down the stairs. He said the target was made easy in the darkness of the basement by the flashlight Patrolman Zingler was carrying.
Patrolman Zingler was 42-years-old and had served with the Milwaukee Police Department for nearly ten years. He was survived by his wife and six-year-old son.