James E. Hendricks

Appointed January 8,1960
Died December 15, 1963

Officer Slain Investigating Shooting; 2 Are Wounded

A Minneapolis policeman investigating a “domestic argument” was shot three times and killed in an apparent ambush about 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, 1963 in a south Minneapolis apartment.

Two occupants of the apartment at 3025 Portland Ave. South were critically wounded.

The victim, James E. Hendricks, 45, 3809 12th Ave. South, a four-year veteran of the force, was dead on arrival at General Hospital. He has been shot twice in the left chest and once in the groin, doctors said.

The injured were Auburn Hare, 32, a window cleaner who lived in a first floor apartment of the Portland fourplex, and Mrs. Agnes Winje, 49, who, police said, was living with Hare.

Hare, who reportedly had a wife living in Cleveland, Ohio, had gunshot wounds in his upper arm and upper chest, in addition to a facial cut. Police said Hare shot Hendricks and was in turn shot by the officer’s companion, Patrolman Chester Langaard.

Mrs. Winje had gunshot wounds in her upper chest and upper abdomen. Doctors had her in surgery about midnight and said she suffered from severe internal bleeding.

Police said she apparently had been shot before Hendricks entered the apartment.

Mrs. Winje’s husband, Ernest, 52, 2723 1st Ave. South, a bartender, said he and his wife were separated.

Capt. Henry Deason, head of the police homicide division, said the two officers were sent from the Bryant Ave. (5th) precinct on a call from Mrs. Florence Whipps, who has the first floor apartment next to Hare’s.

She said she heard some gunshots in the next apartment, then silence, then some more gunshots. She heard a woman moan and she called police. Langaard, 3600 Pleasant Ave., said Hendricks was shot as he entered the Hare apartment. Langaard, who said he was about five steps behind his companion, then shot Hare.

Police said Hare was carrying a .25 caliber revolver.

The dead officer worked as a driver for Yellow Cab Co. and later spent eight years as an ambulance driver for General Hospital before joining the police force.

Within minutes after the shooting other patrol cars and detectives converged on the apartment. The officer’s wife, Betty, was summoned to General Hospital. She was taken there by a brother-in-law, John L. Hendricks, 4928 42nd Ave. South.

Dr. William Rollins, an intern in the ambulance which had picked up the patrolman at the scene of the shooting, said his first examination found Hendricks’ heart still beating. “I thought we might have a chance,” the intern said.

“But on re-examination, as we were rushing to General with the sirens, I discovered he no longer had a pulse. I realized he was dead.”

The ambulance first stopped outside the hospital receiving room, then drove directly to the Hennepin County morgue.

When Mrs. Hendricks arrived at the hospital, she was taken to a room down the corridor from the receiving desk. She was told that her husband was dead and she collapsed, screaming.

Some of the attendants had known Hendricks as an ambulance driver. There were tears in the eyes of many of the staff.

Within two minutes, the Minneapolis Police Chief E.I. Walling, walked into the hospital. Later he was asked to comment on the shooting: “The only comment I have to make, you wouldn’t print.”

The chief was obviously disturbed. His face was flushed with anger. Throughout the police station officers milled around discussing the shooting of a fellow policeman.

In October 1961, Hendricks and his wife were assaulted in an alley between 3rd St. and Washington Ave. South as they were walking to supper at Rusciano’s Restaurant.

During subsequent court proceedings, Hendricks said a car driving in the alley nearly hit them. He told the occupants he was a policeman and warned them to be careful.

When the car returned to the alley, Hendricks said he stopped them again and asked for the driver’s license. Then three men got out of the auto and pummeled him. He required hospitalization but his wife was not hurt.

Wife, Children Are Shocked

The tear-filled voice of a young girl greeted a Minneapolis mother when she returned home shortly before midnight Sunday. “Did you see Daddy?” Mrs. Betty Hendricks was asked.

Mrs. Hendricks had just returned to the pink two-story house at 3809 12th Ave. South from General Hospital, where her husband, James, was dead on arrival, shot to death on the job as a city policeman.

The couple’s two daughters, Kathy, 12, and Jill, 10, were waiting for their mother when she came home.

Ordinarily, about that time their father would be coming home from his evening patrol shift.

Ordinarily, by that time the two girls would have been asleep. In the morning they would go to school. Kathy to Bryant Junior High, where she was a 7th grader and Jill to Bancroft, where she was in the 4th grade.

Last night, all the lights were on and friends and relatives were arriving to comfort Mrs. Hendricks and her children. They walked up steps where a single mitten lay. One person at the home was Caywood Johnson, 5057 Penn Ave. South, a Minneapolis patrolman for 13 years and a close friend of the slain policeman.

“Usually, I’m on patrol with Jim,” Johnson said. “But this was my night off.”

“He was a fine man and a brave man. A frank, forthright man with a sense of humor. Best man I ever worked with on the force.”

’63 City Shooting Case Murder Conviction Upheld

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the circumstances in a fatal shooting of a Minneapolis police officer on Dec. 15, 1963 justified a first degree murder conviction.

The court said the evidence allowed an inference of premeditation by Auburn Hare, 35, when he shot police officer James E. Hendricks, 45. Hare, a former musician and window cleaner, is serving a life sentence in the shooting. He was convicted in a trial before Hennepin District Judge Tom Bergin.

In an opinion written by Chief Justice Oscar Knutson, the Supreme Court said the only question was whether the evidence justified a presumption of premeditation. Knutson noted that the court has “frequently held that premeditation need not exist for any specific period of time,” and that it is often incapable of direct proof but can be inferred from circumstantial proof.

He pointed out that autopsy evidence showed that Hendricks was shot three times. “Aiming a loaded revolver at a person and firing three shots, all of which strike the target, surely permits an inference of premeditation with intent to

The above information was published in the Minneapolis Star on Friday, Dec. 8, 1967, almost four years to the day in which Officer Hendricks was shot and killed.