August 22, 2007
Officer Down: Penn. Patrolman Walter T. Barclay Jr.
Officer Down: Patrolman Walter T. Barclay Jr. - [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]
Age: 64Incident Details: Patrolman Barclay died from complications of a gunshot wounded that he received 40 years earlier when he was shot and wounded by a burglary suspect.
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Patrolman Barclay had served with the Philadelphia Police Department for 1 1/2 years at the time he was wounded. He is survived by his brother and sister.
Patrolman Barclay was attempting to arrest a suspect for burglary in the rear of the 6000 block of North 5th Street when he was shot in the thigh, abdomen and shoulder. He was left paralyzed from the waist down and forced to retire from the police force.
Patrolman Barclay suffered countless complications over the span of 40 years as a result of the wounds and died from complications of that gunshot wound. His death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner.
The suspect was arrested in 1966 and charged with aggravated assault. He was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He has since been released. He was arrested by the Philadelphia Police Department after Patrolman Barclay died, however the District Attorney has yet to make a decision on formal charges.
End of Watch: Tuesday, August 19, 2007
Philly officer dies from gunshot wounds received 40 years earlier
The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia policeman shot while on duty four decades ago died of his injuries this week, raising the possibility of a homicide charge against a man who already served a prison sentence for the shooting, authorities said.
Walter T. Barclay, a rookie officer, was gunned down Nov. 27, 1966, while trying to stop the burglary of a beauty shop in the city's East Oak Lane section. Barclay, who was left a paraplegic, died Sunday at age 64.
William J. Barnes, now 71, was sentenced to a 10- to 20-year term in the shooting.
Chief Inspector of Detectives Joseph Fox said Tuesday that the Bucks County coroner had ruled Barclay's death a homicide stemming from complications from the shooting. Police are talking with prosecutors to decide whether Barnes should now be charged with murder in the case, he said.
The District Attorney's Office issued a short statement Tuesday, saying only, "We intend to review all of the evidence before making a decision in this case." Prosecutors would not elaborate.
Lawyers asked about the case said prosecutors would be on solid legal ground to charge Barnes, but that proving the case would be challenging.
"Complications from a shooting 30 or 40 years ago don't take 30 or 40 years to surface," said Jeffrey Lindy, a former federal prosecutor now working as a defense lawyer. "A medical expert could say it could be from this or it could be from that."
Barclay's sister, Rosalyn Harrison, said her brother suffered "horribly" after the shooting.
"You have no idea what a hard time he had," she said.