The Cleveland Police Museum is honored to tell the stories of our Fallen Officers on the anniversary of their End of Watch.
Patrolman Robert Shelton was appointed to the Cleveland Police Department on September 7, 1904 and served in the 3rd and 5th Districts. Fifteen years later, Cleveland saw a rise in burglaries and shootings, including that of Shelton’s good friend Sergeant William C. Isaac, who was shot and killed on the first of December. Prior to joining the police department, Shelton and Isaac worked together as clerks at Southworth’s Grocery.
During a door-to-door search for Isaac’s killer, Shelton stumbled upon an attempted burglary at the Standard Drug Company store. Shelton pursued the two would-be burglars and apprehended suspect, John Platzky, a twice convicted felon out on parole. Because the patrol wagon was unavailable, Shelton and his prisoner proceeded to the station on foot.
Near the station, Platzky pulled a gun from his coat pocket, shot Shelton at close range then ran away. Shelton died from his wounds at St. Luke’s Hospital. Police later apprehended Platzky in Toledo, where he was hiding out with his underage girlfriend. Platzky was convicted on his own confession and sentenced to life in prison.
Robert Shelton was survived by his wife, Lizzie and son, who remained in the home they’d recently purchased on Ashbury Avenue near Case Western Reserve University.