Trooper Irving Nelson was shot and killed while chasing two armed robbery suspects near Pomfret, Connecticut. He was responding on his police motorcycle from Station 5 to assist other officers. Trooper Nelson located the car and initiated a pursuit. During the pursuit the suspects opened fire on him, striking him twice. Trooper Nelson was able to stop his motorcycle before collapsing and succumbing to the gunshot wounds.
Both suspects were members of a gang that had perpetrated a series of robberies in West Springfield, Massachusetts, and were escaping from police of that city at the time Trooper Nelson tried to halt them. Both suspects were arrested six days later and charged with first-degree murder. They were each found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
On January 4, 1930, one of the suspects along with two other men escaped from the Connecticut State Prison. On January 19, 1930, they shot and killed Officer Willie D. Smith of the Jacksonville, Florida, Police Department and seriously wounded another officer as they attempted to question them. All three men were apprehended a few days later in Florida.
Trooper Irving was a US Army veteran of WWI. He was survived by his expectant wife.