Trooper James Grady Sutton

Trooper James Grady Sutton

Illinois State Police, Illinois

End of Watch Thursday, June 30, 1932

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James Grady Sutton

Trooper James Grady Sutton and Chief Daniel Law, of the Harrisburg Police Department, were shot and killed during an arrest.

As Trooper Grady and Chief Law were escorting three suspects in a stolen car to jail, the violators drew weapons and opened fire on the officers.

The officers stopped the vehicle at Poplar and Vine Streets, directing the driver to City Hall for further questioning. Trooper Sutton stood on the left running board and Chief Law on the right running board of the vehicle. As the vehicle approached City Hall, the driver stepped on the accelerator and the men drew weapons, killing both officers.

Trooper Sutton was struck in the chest and fell to the street near City Hall. Before being shot in the head and body, Chief Law was able to cling to the vehicle for four blocks, exchanging gunfire with the suspects and killing one of them until finally dropping from the vehicle.

Trooper Sutton died from his wounds following emergency surgery shortly after midnight. The suspect killed by Chief Law was found in the abandoned vehicle ten miles north of Harrisburg. The other two fugitives, 25 and 30, were later captured; one in Beckley, West Virginia, on September 8, 1932, and the other in Sheridan, Wyoming, on January 8, 1933. They were returned to Illinois for trial where they both were convicted of two counts of murder and sentenced to death. They both were granted new trials and sentenced to life.

The youngest suspect was paroled on April 29, 1946. On April 20, 1949, he and another man robbed a bar in Detroit. After a wild chase with Detroit Police both were arrested. During the arrest Trooper Sutton's and Chief Law's killer was shot in the foot twice. He was charge with armed robbery as well as other serious charges. The next day he was charged with an armed robbery in Greenville. The other suspect convicted with him was was denied parole in 1945.

Trooper Sutton and Chief Law were buried in adjoining plots in Sunset Lawn Cemetery in Harrisburg. Trooper Sutton was a 3-year veteran of the Illinois State Police. He was survived by his wife.


  • Age 45
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender One shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

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Your heroic actions and sacrifice are ones that will never, ever be forgotten. Thank you for your service and rest in peace always.

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

June 30, 2020

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