Officer Kathleen Conway, a 23-year-old Police Officer, worked one of the toughest neighborhoods in Cincinnati referred to as “Over-the-Rhine”.
On February 2, 1998, Conway finished a prison run and was approaching a traffic light by the police precinct. This was a fateful day that would change her forever.
As she slowed down, a man with a boom box jumped out into the street. Officer Conway slammed her breaks to avoid hitting the man and came to a stop just in time.
Earlier in the evening, the Cininnati Police Department had received a 911 call regarding a man named Daniel Williams, 41 who was off his meds and threatening to murder family members.
Police had been unable to local Williams, but Officer Conway had found him in the worst way. The mentally unhinged Williams threw the boom box into the driver’s side window, striking Conway in the face. She was stunned and knocked onto her side. Before she could react, Williams opened fire, screaming “I’m going to get you,”.
A Wild Ride
Conway was hit four times, in her legs and hips. She could feel the sharp pain of the bullet wounds but her legs wouldn’t move.
Fighting through the pain and blood loss, she managed to stay alert as Williams forced open the squad car door, pushed her over, and climbed into the driver’s seat. He drove away, flying down Central Parkway with the wounded Officer barely hanging onto consiousness.
While Williams was distracted by the road, Conway tried to get to her service weapon. Unfortunately, it was trapped underneath her body.
Eventually, she was able to free her gun and shoot Williams twice, killing him instantly. However, the car was now out of control and it slammed into the Sam Adams Brewery at about 50 mph.
Conway had managed to make a radio call right when the shooting started, but the transmission had been garbled. Fortunately, after the crash, she managed to make another call saying, “Distress. I’ve been involved in a shooting on Central Parkway North of Liberty. I need some help.”
The dispatcher asked her if she was hurt, to which she evenly answered, “Affirmative.”
It was later determined that out of her two shots, one struck Williams in the head. The investigation concluded that the second shot must have missed.
However, the autopsy determined that both bullets went into the same hole—an incredible shot for someone who was in an enormous amount of pain, losing blood, and the passenger in a wildly driven car.
Officer Kathleen Conway is heralded as a hero among Law Enforcement circles. Her training kicked in and she did all the right things, culminating in two well placed shots even under extreme pressure.
We thank Officers like Conway for getting the job done and keeping us safe.