Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 37 years
Badge # 434
Weapon: Handgun; .38 caliber
Offender: Sentenced to 50 to 100 years
Police Lieutenant James E. O’Connor was shot and killed during an armed robbery attempt.
Lieutenant James O’Connor was visiting a friend, a retired policeman, at 11048 S. Michigan, a business where he now worked. The armed robber entered the establishment, gun in one hand and the other hand covering his face for a disguise.
Lieutenant O’Connor had a clear shot at the 20 year old gunman but instead tried to disarm him and spare his life. In the struggle, the gunman fired once, and a bullet wound in the head killed the lieutenant.
Two detectives were in the neighborhood on an investigation and saw the struggle from across the street. Joining detectives in the pursuit was another policeman who had been in the office with O’Connor. Both the gunman and his accomplice were arrested within hours.
The 20-year-old gunman was convicted of murder and sentenced to 50 to 100 years in prison. His 33-year-old accomplice committed suicide in jail.
Lieutenant O’Connor was a 37 year veteran of the Chicago Police Department. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1954 and had recently been assigned to the Kensington District.