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Patrolman Henry P. Kounse | East Peoria Police Department, Illinois East Peoria Police Department, Illinois

Patrolman

Henry P. Kounse

East Peoria Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch: Tuesday, February 10, 1931

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 40

Tour: 3 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; .45 caliber

Offender: Died in prison

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Patrolman Henry Kounse was shot and killed while attempting to apprehend a felony suspect. Earlier in the day, officers had been to a local residence after receiving information that the suspect was staying there, but upon their arrival the suspect and another subject were escaping in a taxicab while holding the driver at gunpoint and exchanged gunfire with the officers. Later in the evening, upon learning the suspect had returned to the residence, eight officers proceeded to the home to find three subjects sitting in a vehicle in front of the residence at 6:30 pm. While these subjects were being taken into custody, one shouted toward the house to alert the occupants that the police had arrived.

As the felony suspect was climbing out of a rear window, another officer commanded him to halt. The suspect fired three shots and ran to the opposite corner of the house where he encountered Patrolman Kounse. The suspect fired two more shots, striking Patrolman Kounse in the face with a Colt .45-caliber revolver before escaping into a thick, wooded area. The subjects from the parked vehicle and the house were taken into custody, but were uncooperative upon interrogation.

A manhunt was created with over 60 lawmen and many citizens to search the wooded area and nearby farmhouses, but they were unable to locate the suspect. When four officers went to a farmhouse the following morning, they noticed its shed doors being held shut with a large board. As the board was kicked away, the doors opened to reveal the suspect hiding inside and he was arrested. The suspect pleaded guilty to murder that same day and died while serving a life sentence in prison in 1943.

Prior to this incident, the suspect had been arrested and charged with vehicle theft and robberies of two oil stations. While he was incarcerated awaiting arraignment in federal court on charges of interstate freight robbery, the suspect escaped from the Rushville Jail in November 1930 and robbed two banks while on the run. The suspect was a member of the notorious Dunbar Gang that was known for its involvement in federal interstate freight robberies.

Patrolman Kounse had served with the East Peoria Police Department for three years. He was survived by his wife.

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Officer Kounses's story was read in Richton Park Police Department's roll call on 11-18-16 to honor him.

Sgt. James Galvan
RPPD (IL)
November 18, 2016

 

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