Seeing three or four men breaking into a shop in Great Eastern Road (now Tollcross Road) Glasgow, on the night of Saturday, January 18th, 1919, PC James Campbell did not hesitate. He immediately grabbed the man nearest to him but could do nothing to prevent the others escaping. At that moment his prisoner broke free, drew a revolver, and shot the policeman twice before escaping over some railings.

PC Campbell, father of three young children, gave a sketchy description of his assailant, before dying two days later. Three suspects were arrested but all were released for lack of evidence.