Officer James Thornton was the sixth St. Petersburg police officer killed in the line of duty.
St. Petersburg, FL - Monday, January 24, 2011 two St. Petersburg Police officers were shot and killed in the line of duty. That brings the total number of officers killed within the department to 14.
According to the city of St. Petersburg's website, the sixth officer killed in the line of duty was Officer James Thornton in 1937. Officer Thornton was on his first day of duty with the St. Petersburg Police Department when he and Officer William Newberry ordered an intoxicated man to leave a carnival at Campbell Park on October 16, 1937. The man returned a short time later with a gun and shot both officers. Officer Thornton died that evening. His partner died the following day from his wounds. The still armed shooter was subsequently shot by another officer after he was found hiding in a local apartment.