KCPD Memorial   Lest We Forget
Police Officer
James Horace 'Happy' Smith
Kansas City, Missouri Police Department
End of Watch: Thursday, June 14, 1928
Age: 38
DOB: June 29, 1889
Tour of Duty: 14 years
Cause of death: Gunfire
Suspect information: Executed by hanging in 1930

On June 14, 1928, a group of bank robbers attempted a theft in broad daylight at the Home Trust Company on Walnut Street. Tear gas was tossed inside, forcing them to flee. In the process, they wounded five bystanders, and an older man suffered a fatal heart attack from the shock. Officers James H. Smith and Darrell Capshaw were working their posts at 11th and Walnut, and 10th and Walnut when the robbers rushed by. Officer Smith was shot and fatally wounded, but was able to shoot out the windshield of the get-away car. Officer Capshaw was also wounded as he was directing traffic. The robbers were caught several days later.

Officer Smith, 38, joined the police department in 1914 and was survived by his wife, Velma Gosset Smith. Interred: Union Cemetery.

Article by Brent Marchant