LBPD Hoping to Reach Family of Fallen Officer for Memorial CeremonyRelease Date: 2015-12-21
Officer Waggoner questioned one of the men who had exited the vehicle while Officer Jenks contacted the men seated in the back seat and ordered them out of the vehicle. As they proceeded to exit, one of the men reached back into the car, turned, and began firing at the officers without warning. As gunfire exchanged between the two officers and three of the four men, Officer Waggoner ran toward the front of his patrol vehicle and dropped to the ground. Officer Jenks, believing his partner had stooped to reload his revolver, reloaded and reengaged the suspects who then fled on foot in different directions. When Officer Jenks joined his partner in front of their patrol car, he realized Officer Waggoner had been shot. About the same time, Officer W. E. Slaughter arrived on scene after apprehending one of the fleeing suspects. The other suspects were subsequently arrested.
During the gunfight, Officer Waggoner was stuck by a bullet that lodged near his spine, causing partial paralysis from which he was never able to recover. On December 18, 1954, he passed away in Seaside Hospital in Long Beach. The Coroner’s register listed a “gunshot wound of the spine” as a contributory factor and his death was officially ruled a homicide.
Long Beach Police would like to speak with any of Patrolman William H. Waggoner’s relatives. At the time of his death, he and his wife Mary were living in the 2400 block of Golden Avenue and he was survived by a son, a daughter, grandchildren, two sisters, and three brothers. His relations resided in Long Beach, Fresno, Phoenix, and Oklahoma City. Family members or anyone with contact information to reach a family member is asked to contact Detective Eric Hubbard at (562) 570-7305 or Eric.Hubbard@longbeach.gov