Detectives' Endowment Association, Inc. — Paul DiGiacomo, President

The DEA Honor Roll

Official Line of Duty Deaths

James A. Donegan

James Donegan

Rank: Detective

Shield Number: 1338

Command: 071 Detective Squad

Date of Death: 10/15/1964

Cause of Death: Shot - Arrest

Detective Donegan and Detective Salvatore Potenza were shot and killed during an arrest attempt.


Detective Potenza and Detective Donegan received a complaint that a man had assaulted his wife and threatened to kill her.  They were told that the man was an ex-convict and a former mental patient.  The detectives went to an apartment at 1632 Hendrickson Street, Brooklyn, where the suspect was staying.  When the detectives knocked on the door, the suspect opened fire through the door with a rifle.  Both Detective Potenza and Detective Donegan were fatally wounded.  The detectives were able to return fire before they fell, but did not strike the suspect.


The suspect then stole the detective’s service weapons and fled to his wife’s house.  Once there, he told her what he had done then shot and killed himself with one of the stolen guns.  Both Detectives were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

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