Montana Law Enforcement Museum

212 E. Broadway
Philipsburg, MT 59858
(406) 859-6536

Policeman Thomas J. O'Neill

Butte Police Department

Department Patch

Policeman Thomas O'Neill was shot and killed while investigating a disturbance at a boarding house. The suspect shot and killed another person at the boarding house before fleeing. The suspect shot another person the following day during a large search for the man. The suspect who murdered Policeman O'Neill was also suspected of being involved in the murder of Deputy Sheriff Thomas Meehan, of the King County, Washington, Sheriff's Department on November 13, 1935. After murdering Policeman O'Neill the suspect fled to an acquaintance's house where he held several people hostage. One of the hostages was able to escape and alert authorities. During the standoff the suspect admitted to the hostages that he had murdered both officers and two other citizens. The suspect was shot and killed in a shootout with officers a short time later. Policeman O'Neill had served with the agency for 18 months. His mother, sister, and three brothers survived him.

End of Watch:
December 25, 1935
On the Force:
1 years