On April 12, 1968, Detective Lanigan, Detective Bill Witcig, Sgt. Harry Caray, and Detective William Trollope, while assisting
F.B.I. agents, were attempting to arrest
suspects wanted on a warrant for robbery at the Antioch Trailer Court, located at 4531 Troost Avenue, just north of Parvin and Antioch
Rd. The detectives were at the residence when the suspects arrived. Detective Lanigan was fired on
as he exited the trailer, fatally wounding him. He died at 4:00 am at North Kansas City Hospital. Detective Bill J. Witcig also sustained a minor gunshot wound to his arm during the battle. Suspects, James L. Grove, 45, and Vernon D. Romphrey, 44, were wounded, taken into custody and charged with Detective Lanigan's murder.
Lanigan joined the police department in 1958. He was survived by his wife, Latain, and two
sons, Larry and Robert. He was a member of the St. James Catholic Church. Interred: Floral Hills Cemetery.
Article by Brent Marchant