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Police Officer Ronald Reagan

5 years
Not Available
End of Watch: 
Thursday, December 13, 1973

Incident Details:

Off-duty Milwaukee Police Patrolman Ronald Reagan kissed his wife goodbye as she addressed Christmas cards at the kitchen table and headed out to the Bungalow Tap at N. 30th Street and W. Hadley Street on December 13, 1973. While at the bar, one by one, three men came in. One asked to use the telephone. Another sat on an open stool next to a female patron who was next to Reagan. That man pulled out a gun, put it to the woman’s head and said to Reagan, “She dies if you move.”

Patrolman Reagan drew his revolver, announced he was a policeman and fired at the man, missing him. He did not see the third gunman at the door who opened fired along with at least one other gunman. Six bullets hit Reagan including one in the head and one in the chest. No one else was injured. He was pronounced dead at County General Hospital.

The men ran off and police later arrested two men from Chicago and one from Milwaukee. All three received life sentences.

Patrolman Reagan was 27 years old and had been with the Milwaukee Police Department for five years. He left behind his wife of six years, a 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter.