Patrolman Michael Sheehan

Patrolman Michael Sheehan

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Sunday, May 9, 1886

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Michael Sheehan

Officer Michael Sheehan succumbed to wounds received five days earlier during the Haymarket Square riot.

Officer Michael Sheehan arrived with several other officers to disperse a protest meeting near Haymarket Square. On May 4, 1886, a bomb was thrown at the officers from an alley. The explosion was followed by an intense gun battle. Officer Sheehan sustained two serious gunshot wounds. He died five days later. Officer Sheehan was the fifth of eight officers to die the historic Haymarket Tragedy.

Eight men were arrested and charged with murder. Seven were sentenced to death and the other one got 15 years. On November 11, 1887, four were executed by hanging. The day before one killed himself by exploding a dynamite cap in his mouth. The other three were pardoned by Governor Altgeld in 1893.

Officer Sheehan served with the Chicago Police Department for 18 months. He was survived by his parents and brother.

Eight police officers were killed during the Haymarket Riot labor dispute. The officers were at the scene of a civil disorder when the rioters opened fire and threw a bomb into the crowd. Eight police officers suffered fatal wounds and 70 other people were injured by the gunfire and explosion.

The officers who were killed included Patrolman Mathias Degan, Patrolman John Barrett, Patrolman George Miller, Patrolman Timothy Flavin, Patrolman Thomas Redden, Patrolman Nels Hansen and Patrolman Michael Sheehan. Patrolman Timothy Sullivan succumbed to his wounds two years later, on June 13, 1888.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 1 year, 4 months
  • Badge 545

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Tuesday, May 4, 1886
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Four executed

bomb, crowd control, Protest

Most Recent Reflection

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No passage of time can ever erase your service and sacrifice. Rest in peace always.

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

May 6, 2021

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