St. Clair County Sheriff's Department, Illinois
(Centreville Township Constable)
End of Watch: Friday, September 16, 1949
Tour of Duty: 8 years
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Saturday, September 10, 1949
Weapon Used: Handgun; .38 caliber
Suspect Info: Apprehended
Constable Paul Kisselbach and Constable William Mason were shot after responding to a man with a gun call at a tavern (Nick's Country Club Inn) in the 4100 block of Trendley Avenue. While investigating an unrelated stabbing in the area which occurred an hour earlier, the constables were called to the tavern at 03:30 hours where a man had been brandishing a gun. Upon their arrival, the suspect began shooting, striking all three constables with a .38 caliber revolver before fleeing.
The constables were transported to St. Mary's Hospital where Constable Kisselbach, who was shot in the head, succumbed to his wound. Constable Mason, who was shot in the abdomen, died of his wounds six days later. The third constable survived his injuries.
The suspect Andrew Betts, 29, was later apprehended, hiding, "up to his neck," in an outhouse...
The bouncer at the club recalled that Betts had brandished a gun and boasted that, "I feel like shooting up the whole place." Betts admitted the shooting, stating, "They said they were police, I got scared. So scared that I started shooting."
The coroner, Dr. C.C. Kane conducted tests on Betts' revolver and reported that the bullets from Kisselbach's body, "showed certain groves which match with other grooves in bullets fired from Betts' gun." Dr. Kane said, "there were no groves to match with bullets fired from Baur's gun."
The ballistics tests were described as routine, and were made to clear doubts as from which gun the fatal bullets were fired.
Constable Kisselbach had served as a constable in Centreville Township. He was survived by his wife.
Constable Mason had served as a constable in Centreville Township for eight years. He was survived by his wife.
Frank "Red" Baur was shot during the incident but recovered from his wounds.
Sheriff Justus knew all three men and is proud that they have been finally recognized. M/Sgt. Mason told us that William Mason was his father's cousin.
The names of William Mason and Paul Kisselbach were added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in 2008.
See the ODMP
See also Paul Kisselbach