Officer Fleming was standing in front of Mike Delougherty's saloon on the southwest corner of 3rd and Gillis on June 22, 1897 shortly after 6:00 pm when Dennis Mahoney stepped out of the saloon. Mahoney seeing that Officer Fleming's back was turned, knocked him to the ground with a blow behind the right ear. Mahoney then took Officer Fleming's club and began beating him on the head while he kicked him in the face and body. Mike Delougherty and another man, Tom Shields, stood by and discouraged onlookers from intervening in Officer Fleming's behalf. A man on horseback rode to the police station and notified Chief Vallins who responded to the scene with a police surgeon and six officers. Mahoney fled the scene prior to the arrival of police. Delougherty was taken into police custody and arraigned for disorderly conduct. Delougherty's saloon was reputed to be frequented by the most desperate men in the city and there was resentment against Fleming's iron-handed rule of the saloon's clientele.
Officer Fleming regained consciousness but died one month later at his home at 550 Tracy Avenue at 5:45 pm on July 25, 1897 from pneumonia contracted as a result of the injuries sustained in the unprovoked attack. Dennis Mahoney remained at large at the time of Officer Fleming's death. Officer Fleming was previously shot in 1887 attempting to arrest two highwaymen and had since been in troubled health.
Officer Fleming, 38, born in Ireland, joined the department on May 20, 1887 and served for ten years.
He was the son of Dan and Emily Flanagan. He was a widower and was survived by his son Bernard (4) and daughter, Josephine (8). Interred: Mount St. Mary's Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri.
Article by Brent Marchant