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Capt. Walter H. Auble
(Nov. 26, 1862 – Sept. 9, 1908)

Capt. Walter H. Auble, who served a one-year appointment as chief of the Los Angeles Police Department and was in charge of the detective bureau when he was shot to death by a suspected burglar in 1908, remains the highest-ranking LAPD officer to be killed in the line of duty.

Auble, a native of Illinois, came to Southern California and joined the LAPD in 1887. Three years later, he was promoted to detective, and in July 1902, he was named captain.

When Police Chief William A. Hammel resigned in October 1905, the Police Commission selected Auble to serve as acting chief until a permanent replacement could be found. The following month, the commission named Auble chief, with a one-year appointment.

When Auble's term expired, the commission selected a city councilman with no police experience to serve as chief, and Auble returned to his position as captain in charge of the detective bureau.

In September 1908, Auble and his partner, Capt. Paul Flammer, were investigating two burglary suspects. They attempted to apprehend the suspects near the corner of 9th Street and Grand Avenue, with Auble approaching one suspect and Flammer the other. The man Auble was attempting to stop pulled a gun and shot Auble three times, in the neck, chest and stomach. Auble was taken to the Receiving Hospital, where he died about six hours later.

The man who shot Auble was surrounded by police that evening on the outskirts of the city. Just before he was taken into custody, he drank from a bottle of cyanide, and died soon after.

At the time of his death, Auble, 45, was the longest-serving member of the LAPD, with 21 years on the force, and was the third LAPD officer to be killed in the line of duty. He was survived by his wife, Florence; their son, Earle, 18; and their daughters, Julia, 16, and Gladys, 14.

More than 5,000 mourners, including city officials, civic leaders, members of the LAPD, and representatives of police departments throughout the state, attended Auble’s funeral service at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Los Angeles.

Auble was buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery.

Auble's sign is located on the east side of Grand Avenue, just south of 9th Street.

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