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Detective James L. Kelly | Gary Police Department, Indiana Gary Police Department, Indiana


James L. Kelly

Gary Police Department, Indiana

End of Watch: Thursday, March 31, 1932

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 33

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Location: Illinois

Weapon: Handgun; Revolver

Offender: Sentenced to life

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Detective James Kelly was shot and killed in Oak Park, Illinois, while investigating several armed robberies in Gary and Hammond.

Upon receiving information the gang responsible for these crimes was headquartered at 37 Harrison Street, Detective Kelly and an Oak Park detective entered the apartment building. Although the primary suspect was not there, three other suspects were arrested and their weapons confiscated. As the officers walked the men to a nearby corner with a patrol box, one suspect drew a second concealed revolver. Detective Kelly was shot and killed, while the Oak Park detective was wounded, but was able to return fire injuring another suspect.

Two of the suspects were held, but the shooter fled the scene. On April 16, he and another gang member were arrested in Newark, Ohio, after robbing two theater messengers of $400 in Zanesville the night before. The shooter pleaded guilty to murder in exchange for being spared the death penalty. He was sentenced to life in prison on June 3, 1932.

Detective Kelly was survived by his wife and four children. He is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Portage, Indiana.

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I have the greatest admiration of my grandfather becoming a policeman, knowing that he was risking his precious life and might be leaving his beloved wife and 4 little children, to protect innocent people. I have always prayed to my grandfather and for his soul and the lives of my grandmother and her children.I also pray everyday for all policemen and thank them for choosing this difficult, but, very important, courageous service to all of us!

Sister Mary Bernard (Kelly /Demarzo)
April 4, 2016

Religious Carmelite Sister
April 5, 2016


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