Patrol Officer Robert Eugene Burke

Patrol Officer Robert Eugene Burke

Winnetka Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Thursday, May 23, 1957

Robert Eugene Burke

Patrol Officer Robert Burke was shot and killed while investigating a suspicious person near the intersection of Green Bay and Church roads.

Officer Burke was on patrol, at about 9:30 pm, when he observed the man standing on the side of the road with a suitcase. He parked his patrol car and exited the vehicle. He took about three steps from the vehicle when the man suddenly produced a revolver and fired four rounds, striking Officer Burke once in the chest. Officer Burke was able to return fire with one shot but did not strike the suspect.

As Officer Burke lay on the ground, the suspect approached him and then pointed his gun at a witness. The suspect then walked across the street and committed suicide. No motive has ever been identified into why the suspect shot Officer Burke. The man was identified through fingerprints but had no criminal record.

Officer Burke had served with the Winnetka Police Department for five years and had previously served with the Evanston Police Department for two years. He was survived by his wife.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge 4

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Committed suicide

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Burke's story was read in Richton Park Police Department's roll call on 2-14-18 to honor him.

Sgt. James Galvan
Richton Park Police (IL)

February 14, 2018

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