Sergeant James L. Severin

Sergeant James L. Severin

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Friday, July 17, 1970

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James L. Severin

Sergeant James L. Severin and Patrolman Tony Rizzato were shot and killed by gang members while patrolling community housing for an all-volunteer "Walk and Talk" project.

As the officers proceeded across the Seward Park baseball field, the assailants opened fire from an apartment window. Both officers were mortally wounded in the attack.

The purpose of the shooting was to seal a pact between two rival gangs. Three adults and one juvenile were later apprehended and charged with murder. The two shooters, ages 17 and 23, were convicted of murder and sentenced to 100 to 199 years in prison. In 2021, one of his killers was released on parole.

Sergeant Severin was a United States Army veteran and had served with the Chicago Police Department for over 13 years. He is survived by his brother and two sisters.


  • Age 38
  • Tour 13 years
  • Badge 1319
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender 100-199 years in prison

ambush, gang member, juvenile offender, sniper

Most Recent Reflection

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Why would they release one perp after so long especially after laws back then no parole.

Rev Steven M Bastean

November 4, 2022

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