New South Wales Police Force
Sergeant 2nd Class
Shot – Murdered
Died 26 December, 1911
The sergeant was the Officer-in-Charge of the Warren Police Station. About 7.30pm on 26 December, 1911 he attended a street disturbance in the township involving an intoxicated man by the name of Neale, whom he subsequently arrested. While they were walking to the police station, Neale suddenly produced a revolver and shot Sergeant MacDonnell through the heart. Neale was quickly subdued by Constable Mitchell, with the assistance of a number of local men. (He is sometimes referred to as Sergeant John McDonnell/MacDonnell).
The Kalgoorlie Western Argus of 2 January, 1912 reported the incident.
MURDERER REMANDED. Warren (N.S.W.) December 27. A coloured man, John Neal, appeared before the police court today on a charge of having murdered Sergeant John McDonnell, who was shot dead in the street last night while attempting to arrest Neal. McDonnell was shot through the heart and died instantly. He was 57 years of age and leaves a widow and two sons. Neal was remanded for eight days.
The sergeant was born in 1854 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 6 March, 1878. At the time of his death he was stationed at Warren.
The Burrowa News ( NSW ) Friday 29 December 1911 page 6 of 7
Police Sergeant Killed.
SHOT MAKING AN ARREST.
Sergeant McDonnell, of Warren, was on Tuesday night shot dead by a foreigner known as ‘Sam,’ whom he was endeavouring to arrest. ‘ Sam,’ whose other name has not yet transpired, was in the opinion of the police, behaving riotously and using bad language in the town. Sergeant McDonnell came along at about half-past 7, and was about to arrest the foreigner, when the latter drew a revolver and shot the sergeant through the heart. The sergeant died almost immediately. The foreigner was subsequently arrested by Constable Mitchell, and confined in the Warren Police Station.