Motorcycle Officer William Eugene Minor
End of Watch: October 25, 1929
On October 15, 1924, Minor started working as a police officer for St. Petersburg and eventually held a position as a motorcycle officer. On October 25,1929, at approximately4:30 a.m., Minor stopped a vehicle at 30 Avenue North and 16 Street North for a minor traffic violation. It is not known whether Minor was aware that the suspect driver, Sam Wiggins, was transporting a load of stolen chickens, and that Wiggins had been wanted for about three weeks for a chicken theft in Pinellas Park. There was a verbal argument between Minor and Wiggins, and then Wiggins shot and killed Minor with a shotgun and fled the scene in his truck before the murder was discovered. An hour later, Wiggins attempted to evade a roadblock near Haines Road and Bay to Bay Boulevard by ramming a police car and then abandoning his truck and fleeing into a wooded area on foot. Two Clearwater police officers, Officer E.F. Gross and Officer Guy Holloway, were patrolling and looking for Wiggins at approximately 6:15 a.m. when they located him further north on Haines Road near Safety Harbor. Wiggins threatened the two officers and fired shots at them from a .38 caliber revolver. The shots broke out the rear window of the police cruiser. Both Clearwater officers shot Wiggins and he was killed at the scene.
Officer Minor was survived by his Mother; wife, Mary E.; daughter, Trudy (1); and all of his siblings listed above. There was a huge show of support for Officer Minor from citizens and law enforcement officers in the community at the J. W. Wilhelm Funeral Chapel. Police Chief Noel was quoted as saying, “He was one of the best on the force and his death is a blow to all of us”. Officer Minor was laid to rest in Greenwood Cemetery. In 1927, the Florida State Legislature had passed an act to allow the police pension fund to pay 75% of the officer’s pay to the widow and $15 per month to the juvenile child of any officer killed in the line of duty. Mary E. Minor received a monthly pension payment of $118.13.
At age 26 and with 5 years of service, Officer William Eugene Minor was the fourth St. Petersburg police officer to be killed in the line of duty.