On Sept. 5, 1919, Officer Corrento G.J. Gargadennec, 50, was on patrol when he observed a suspicious character sitting in a car in front of a residence. He approached the occupant to question him. The man yelled out, “Leave me alone or I’ll shoot.” He then stepped from the vehicle, pulled a revolver and shot Gargadennec. The officer fell to his knees and pulled his own revolver. He shot and killed his assailant.
Two friends of the suspect ran from the residence to the vehicle. Gargadennec leveled his revolver at the pair and ordered them to halt in their tracks. He then staggered to his feet, handcuffed the men, and placed a “riot call” to Central Station. Despite extreme pain and loss of blood, he held the two men until the arrival of assistance. Relieved of his charges, he was transported to the hospital.
Subsequent investigation revealed that Gargadennec’s attacker was sitting in a stolen vehicle. Another handgun was found in the car. The dead suspect and his two friends were identified as the perpetrators of several gas station robberies and other high-profile crimes of violence.
Gargadennec, a 15-year veteran of Oakland Police Department, died of his injury on Sept. 6.