Newspaper article Roll Call

Capitol Police Pay Tribute to First Line-of-Duty Death

Newspaper article Roll Call

Capitol Police Pay Tribute to First Line-of-Duty Death

Article excerpt

Thirty years ago Sunday, tragedy struck the Capitol Police.

Sgt. Christopher Sherman Eney, 37, was fatally shot in the lower back at the conclusion of a training exercise designed to help the officers prepare for hostage situations.

Capitol Police had been performing the drill with blanks loaded into the weapons, Roll Call reported at the time, but the officers had reloaded with live ammunition at the end of the exercise.

John A. Gott -- a 32-year-old officer who eventually became a sergeant and leader in the officers' association -- had his weapon accidentally discharge. Eney, a 12-year veteran of the department, was hit in the lower back. He was immediately rushed to the Washington Hospital Center's Medstar Unit, where he died of massive abdominal injuries.

Eney was the first Capitol Police officer killed in the line of duty since the force began in 1801. He was posthumously awarded the department's Blue Badge Medal in recognition of his courage, dedication and sacrifice. Police headquarters on D Street Northeast bear his name (and the names of two other officers killed in a tragic Capitol shooting).

Retired Capitol Police Sgt. Jack DeWolfe memorialized Eney, his close friend, in a letter shared with CQ Roll Call. The full text is below.

Chris served in the United States Army as a medic with the Green Berets. I had the honor to work with Chris as a member of the CERT [Containment and Emergency Response Team] and in the House Plainclothes Division. Chris was one of the best supervisors on the department; he worked tirelessly and always strived to get the best out of his team members each day. Chris led by example and would never ask a team member to do anything he wouldn't do himself. He would always stand post for anyone who needed a break, and during the late night sessions it was greatly appreciated. …

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