Tommy Gargan assigned to the Sixth Precinct on August 17th 1947 responding to a burglary in progress call on Bank and Washington Streets was shot and killed. A long overdue street naming in his honor took place Tuesday March 21st 2006 at the site of the shooting at 1200 hours.
Recipient of the Medal of Honor and the Police Combat Cross
Burglar Kills Policeman in Village;
Victim's Partner Captures Youth, 18
Sunday, August 17, 1947
Patrolman Thomas J. Gargan of the Charles Street Station, a holder of the Police Combat Cross Metal, was shot fatally shortly after 10 o'clock last night by a burglar whom he surprised in a dark unoccupied apartment at 132 Bank Street, in Greenwich Village. The burglar was shot and captured by Patrolman Gerald Hughes, Patrolman Gargan's partner in a radio car. Both Patrolman Gargan and the burglar, an 18 year old youth were taken to St Vincent’s Hospital, where the policeman died soon after being admitted. The perp was identified as Harris Grey of Scotland Neck, NC The police said that Patrolman Gargan was shot in the chest with a charge from a 12-gauge shotgun shell fired from a modified service-type signal flare pistol. Such a weapon can fire only once. Patrolman Hughes used three shots to bring down the burglar. The studio apartment is above a two-story building. According to the police report, Mrs. Margaret Monihan of 131 Bank Street saw an intruder open an iron grid door and enter the building. Mrs. Monahan notified a neighbor, Fred Andrews of 136 Bank Street, who had a telephone, and as it was known in the neighborhood that the tenant of 132 Bank Street, Philip Evergood, was in Patchogue, L.I. for the summer, Mr. Andrews called Police Headquarters. Patrolman Gargan and Hughes, arriving at 132 Bank Street in their sector car, entered the building by the same basement door the burglar had used and climbed the stairs with Officer Gargan in the lead. As Officer Gargan stepped into the unlighted attic apartment, he was felled by the blast from the makeshift pistol. The police said the burglar had been rummaging through some of the tenants personal effects. Hughes was patrolling as Gargan’s partner in a sector car last night for the first time. For the last twelve years, Officer Gargan had been teamed up with Patrolman Joseph McEvoy. On Saturday McEvoy had put in his application for retirement but in hearing of Officer Gargan’s death, he asked that his application be withdrawn. At the Charles Street Station it was said that both Gargan and McEvoy had received police honors for rescues from the Hudson River, the riverfront having been part of their patrol. Patrolman Hughes was treated at the hospital for power burns to his face, believed to have been caused by the burglar’s pistol. When the report of a burglary and a shooting on Bank Street reached Police Headquarters, an emergency squad and a number of sector cars were sent to the scene. The neighborhood was searched on the chance that the burglar had an accomplice. After the shooting, Acting Police Commissioner Thomas F, Mulligan, Chief Inspector Martin Brown and a number of high ranking police officials converged on St Vincent’s Hospital. Patrolman Gargan was said by fellow officers to have received the Combat Medal in connection with a Greenwich Village shooting affray about two years ago. He was 42 years old, lived with his wife and four sons at 130-48 235th Street, Laurelton, Queens, and was appointed to the Police Department on December 12th 1927. It was said that all of his twenty years as a policeman had been spent on duty at the Charles Street Station.
At St. Vincent’s Hospital that all three of Patrolman Hughes’ bullets had penetrated Grey’s arm, sholder and chest, but that his condition was not precarious. The police said Grey told them he broke into the home of Mr. Everwood, a professional artist, two weeks ago and had been using it since as a headquarters.
Mr. Evergood, (1901-1973) whose work has been exhibited in many galleries, received the M.V. Kohnstamm prize at the Chicago Art Institute in 1935, the Carnegie grant as resident artist at the Kalamazoo College in 1940 and 1941, the purchase prize at the Artists for Victory Exhibition in the Metropolitan Museum in 1942 and the second prize at the Portrait of America Exhibition in 1944. He is a member of the National Society of Mural Painters, the American Society of Painters, Sculptors and Gravers, An American Group and the Artist League of America.
Tommy was 42 years old, served twenty years in the Sixth Precinct, Shield # 16613, six citations for bravery, survived by his wife and four sons, our prayers go out to Tommy and his family.
Thanks to Mike Gargan ESU Truck 7 for the photo of Tom (his grandfather) and to Dennis Conner for the added color and the American flag background.
The suspect, found guilty of 1st degree murder was excuted on January 6, 1949
The PC, Gargan family members,Mike Gargan ESU 7
Bank Street now and forever to be known as
Thomas J. Gargan Way
Insp. Shortell 6th Precinct Commander, Frank Toscano and Mike Singer (left rear) Bill Lynch Pres. PBA (front left) and the Pipers who did a great job.
Family, brother officers, members of the community all came to pay their respect to Tommy
Hollywood, Big Hank, McLaughlin Mike Singer