In honor of National Police Week, the Cleveland Police Museum tells the stories of Cleveland’s fallen officers.
Virgil T. Bayne was appointed to the Cleveland Police Department on February 1, 1921 and assigned to the 4th district.
On December 18, 1937 at 11 pm, Patrolmen Gerald Bode and Virgil Payne observed five suspects acting suspiciously at Mullen’s Service Gas Station on Buckeye Road. Bayne approached one of the men who was out of the car. At the same time, Bode approached the left rear of the auto to question the vehicle’s occupants.
As Bayne began to search the suspect outside the car, the man pulled a revolver and fired several shots at Bayne. At the same time, Bode was met with a hail of gunfire from inside the vehicle. Although mortally wounded, the officers were able to return fire before their attackers sped off in their vehicle. Both officers were pronounced dead on arrival at St. Luke’s Hospital.
The five murderers were later arrested. One was found to be a juvenile and turned over to the Juvenile Court. Of the others, one was electrocuted, one received life in prison and later reduced, and the others were eventually paroled.
Bayne was survived by his mother Mrs. Julia Bayne, two sisters and three brothers. Services were held at William A. Nun Funeral Home with internment in Milton, Kentucky.
Join the Cleveland Police Museum in honoring our Fallen Officers at Heroes Roll Call on May 15: See our Facebook page for details.