John F. Donahue
End of Watch: August 2, 1920
Tour of Duty: 17 Years
Incident Details: Gunfire
On Monday, June 21, 1920, at 5:30 am, a man named Arthur Brouix of Biddeford, Maine entered Waterbury Police Headquarters stating he wanted to file a larceny complaint. Brouix reported that his twenty-three-year-old wife Georgiana Rheaume had stolen $650.00 from him and was planning on leaving the city. Since no detectives were on duty at that time, the desk officer told Brouix to return at 7:30 am and speak with the inspectors about his complaint.
Promptly at 7:30 am, Brouix returned to Police Headquarters and was interviewed by Inspector John F. Donahue, a seventeen-year veteran of the Police Department. After taking Brouix' complaint, Inspector Donahue and some other inspectors located Rheaume at the Waterbury train station where she and another man, who Brouix claimed was her new boyfriend, were attempting to board a train to leave the city. Inspector Donahue and the other inspectors returned Rheaume and the man to Police Headquarters.
Once at Police Headquarters, Rheaume told police she was not married to Brouix so Inspector Donahue asked Brouix to go home and obtain their marriage certificate. When Brouix returned home to get the marriage certificate, he also retrieved his pistol.
Upon returning to Police Headquarters, Brouix entered the Detective Bureau and observed that Inspector Donahue was taking a statement from Rheaume. Brouix was enraged and then drew his pistol and pointed it at Inspector Donahue, who attempted to calm Brouix and talk him into surrendering the pistol. Instead, Brouix shot Inspector Donahue in the chest, and then committed suicide with the same pistol.
Inspector Donahue was transported to Saint Mary's Hospital where a bullet was discovered lodged next to his spine. After six weeks in the hospital, Inspector Donahue succumbed to his injuries. Inspector Donahue was survived by his wife and four children.