Patrolman Michael O'Brien

Patrolman Michael O'Brien

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Sunday, April 3, 1887

Michael O'Brien

Officer Michael O'Brien was shot and killed as he attempted to place an offender under arrest. Officer O'Brien and his partner dispersed a crowd causing a disturbance behind a tavern. During a search for concealed weapons, one of the men resisted and made his escape. Shortly thereafter, Officer O'Brien and his partner observed the offender walking down the alley. After ignoring an order to halt, the gunman fired one shot, striking Officer O'Brien. Before dying Officer O'Brien identified the suspect who was arrested.

The suspect was convicted of Officer O'Briens murder and sentenced to 17 years in prison. The suspect insisted that he was innocent and claimed it was another man who shot Officer O'Brien. A .32 caliber pistol was found on him at the time he was arrested, yet it was determined that Officer O'Brien was shot with a .44 caliber pistol. Several other points seemed in his favor but he was convicted.

On May 12, 1888, the man who the suspect claimed shot Officer O'Brien, shot and seriously wounded a Chicago Police Officer. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. On August 9, 1890, he told prison officials that he was the man who shot Officer O'Brien. The first suspect was released six days later.

The second suspect was charged with Officer O'Brien's murder. He was also charged with four other murders, numerous assaults, burglaries, and robberies that he admitted to.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge 216

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .44 caliber
  • Offender Charged with murder

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer O'Brien was born on a farm at Carnanes, Kilrush, County Clare, Ireland. His parents were John and Ellen [nee Torpey] O'Brien. He had four brothers including my great grandfather, Stephen. We still remember him. We have a photograph of him dressed in his police uniform.
Ar dheis lamh Dé go raibh a anam. May his soul be at the right hand of God.

Máire O'Brien,
Great grand niece

May 25, 2018

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