Officer Joseph Swierczynski was shot and killed while chasing two suspects after hearing shots near 9th Street and Fitzwater Street. He chased the two men to a saloon at 9th and Christian Streets until one of the men suddenly turned and opened fire, killing him.
Officer Swierczynski's body remained on the street for almost 30 minutes until an anonymous woman called the station house to report the incident. Three men were arrested inside the saloon a short time later. One of the suspects was found guilty of first degree murder but acquitted on appeal after purportedly bribing the judge. The suspect was murdered in New York City six months later.
Officer Swierczynski had served with the Philadelphia Police Department for 2 years. He was survived by his wife and two young sons.