Assistant Chief of Police David Walter O'Brien

Assistant Chief of Police David Walter O'Brien

Canton Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Sunday, August 3, 1924

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David Walter O'Brien

Assistant Chief David O'Brien was shot and killed while on a tour of inspection with Chief of Police Roy. At the corner of Oak Street and Fourth Avenue, the officers came upon a subject whom they questioned and decided to take him back to the station when a gunbattle ensued.

The suspect, armed with two .30-caliber, ten-shot Lugers, fired nine shots striking both Assistant Chief O'Brien and Chief Roy. Assistant Chief O'Brien, despite being mortally wounded, was able to return fire and killed the suspect.

An unarmed, seriously wounded Chief Roy was able to stagger to a nearby home for assistance and later recovered from his wounds. The suspect was a US Army deserter wanted on bank robbery charges and was being sought for railroad robbery when confronted by the officers.

Assistant Chief O'Brien had served with the Canton Police Department for two years, having previously served as chief of police. He was survived by one daughter and two sons. In 1993, the Canton City Council dedicated and renamed the David W. O'Brien Public Safety Building in his honor.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .30 caliber
  • Offender Shot and killed

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Rest in peace knowing that your service and sacrifice will never be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

August 3, 2020

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