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Assistant Chief of Police David Walter O'Brien | Canton Police Department, Illinois Canton Police Department, Illinois

Assistant Chief of Police

David Walter O'Brien

Canton Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch: Sunday, August 3, 1924

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 40

Tour: 2 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; .30 caliber

Offender: Shot and killed

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Assistant Chief David O'Brien was shot and killed while on a tour of inspection with Chief of Police Roy. At the corner of Oak Street and Fourth Avenue, the officers came upon a subject whom they questioned and decided to take him back to the station when a gunbattle ensued.

The suspect, armed with two .30-caliber, ten-shot Lugers, fired nine shots striking both Assistant Chief O'Brien and Chief Roy. Assistant Chief O'Brien, despite being mortally wounded, was able to return fire and killed the suspect.

An unarmed, seriously wounded Chief Roy was able to stagger to a nearby home for assistance and later recovered from his wounds. The suspect was a US Army deserter wanted on bank robbery charges and was being sought for railroad robbery when confronted by the officers.

Assistant Chief O'Brien had served with the Canton Police Department for two years, having previously served as chief of police. He was survived by one daughter and two sons. In 1993, the Canton City Council dedicated and renamed the David W. O'Brien Public Safety Building in his honor.

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Assistant Chief O'Brien's story was read in Richton Park Police Department's roll call on 8-12-16 to honor him.

Sgt. James Galvan
August 12, 2016


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